20:44 GMT29 January 2020
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    EU Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has stated that the UK must allow European fishermen access to British waters in order to secure a trade deal.

    Negotiations between Westminster and Brussels will officially begin at the end of the month, marking the start of a so-called transition period, which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed will only last until the end of 2020.

    But will Johnson be left with no option but to walk away without a deal, if the EU demands unreasonable terms?

    UKIP founder Alan Sked gives his views on Barnier’s comments.

    Sputnik: Will the UK cave into EU Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s demands regarding fishing waters?

    Alan Sked: The EU is putting down all these demands very harshly before the negotiations begin, but I suppose that is in the nature of negotiations. The British have said that they will reject that demand, the British will take back their coastal waters and there will be some kind of deal, but Barnier can’t make demands as blatant as the one he’s making.

    Sputnik: Are the UK and EU likely to be able to agree on a mutually beneficial trade agreement in the coming months?

    Alan Sked: Boris Johnson seems absolutely confident that he will get a deal by the end of the year, and he’s got what he wanted so far despite huge opposition, so I rather suspect he will. We can’t tell, as both parties are just gearing up for the key negotiations which will start next month, so it’s a bit too early to tell. I’ve got great faith in the fact that if anyone can pull off a deal; it’s Boris Johnson.

    Sputnik: Are both the UK and EU adequately prepared for the potential ramifications of a no-deal Brexit?

    Alan Sked: The British government has put a great deal of effort into planning and the EU has put planning in place for a no deal scenario, so between the two of them I think that a no-deal wouldn’t be that dreadful, but I think that both sides are really very keen to avoid it and I expect a deal.

    Ironically as a result of Brexit, Britain has turned out to be practically the only government in Europe which has a stable and solid majority, and no extremists in parliament, but that doesn’t apply to practically any of the continental countries.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    UK Independence Party (UKIP), fishing, Michel Barnier, EU, United Kingdom
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