09:50 GMT24 September 2020
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    Reports from Brussels have suggested that the EU may force Britain to sacrifice its fishing rights if the UK wants to walk away with a free trade agreement post-Brexit. The news comes on the back of the 7th round of negotiations, between London and the bloc, with very little progress being made between the two sides.

    Sputnik spoke to the Analyst Keith Rowe to discuss the ongoing talks between the European Union and the United Kingdom on their future relations following Brexit.

    Sputnik: With the EU still playing hardball and still little progress made on securing a deal; how would you evaluate the recent negotiations? Do you feel like our representatives are meeting the expectations of the British people?

    Keith Rowe: I think our representatives are doing a much better job than they have done in the past. I think the new cohorts of representatives are doing a better job and it's a shame that the people that we had negotiating on our behalf that while ago didn't take a hard line and realise how to negotiate with the EU.

    It must be realised from what you said before that the EU can't force us to give up our fishing rights. They belong to the United Kingdom as we are a sovereign nation once again, come January 1st, and they can't force us to do anything.

    All they can do is try and negotiate hard with us. As I've said on this station, a number of times in the past, giving up such fundamental parts of our economy and part of the reason why we voted for Brexit; is no advantage to us.

    We would be much better off walking away, saying thank you very much, we want to be friends, we want to trade with you. It's no deal. We'll work on World Trade Organisation terms until we come up with a better solution if there is a better solution then thank you very much. We can then regain our fishing grounds, regain properly our independence, and carry on with our lives and trade across the world freely.

    Sputnik: At this moment in time would the UK be better off walking from negotiations and leave on a no-deal?

    Keith Rowe: I think, in purely economic terms, that is the best option for us at the moment - we should say 'thank you goodbye - but what I think that the government is trying to do and they're trying to tread a steady line here is they don't want to be seen as the ones that have caused a rift.

    They want to be seen as having tried and pursued every option and that's why I think they're hanging in there at the negotiating table.

    They want to show to the world and show to the British people who've got to re-elect them at some time in the future, they hope, that they are capable of trying to get a deal and that it's not them that are being the awkward squad.

    Sputnik: If no deal is not an option… what needs to change between Brussels and London for a deal to be agreed upon?

    Keith Rowe: In my view is a no-deal, as you call it, in other words going back to World Trade Organisation terms is the best deal and at the moment the best thing we could do and there are people in government that agree with that position.

    But if the government is intent, whatever they do on trying to get a deal, then really the EU must realise that they've got to bend to such an extent that we are going to reclaim our fishing grounds and we are going to reclaim our independence and that they have to give us a free trade deal along the lines of a free trade deal that they've given to other countries across the world.

    The fact that we're on their doorstep should not affect the writing in the agreement and the EU has to eventually realise that we either got to have a deal along the lines of the one we've got with Canada say or something like that and trade freely, tariff-free I hope and work with us, or the best deal for the UK is just to walk away from this and have what people have termed as a no-deal.

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

    Tags:
    no-deal Brexit, Brussels, EU, Brexit, U.K
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