06:16 GMT30 November 2020
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    Fishing rights remains one of the main issues in the divorce talks, as some bloc members, including France and the Netherlands, demand that London effectively remain part of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, which means that three-quarters of fish stocks in the UK's extensive maritime exclusive economic zone are caught by foreign boats.

    A Brexit trade deal can only happen if Brussels respects British sovereignty over fisheries, UK Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay said on Friday, noting that he hopes to see the Brexit deal secured.

    "But that deal needs to reflect that fact that we're leaving the EU, we will regain control of our fisheries - it was a key issue for many of your viewers during the Brexit debate and it is important that the deal reflects that", the minister told Sky News.
    A flotilla of fishing boats sail by the Gateshead Millennium bridge
    © AP Photo / Owen Humphreys
    A flotilla of fishing boats sail by the Gateshead Millennium bridge

    European nations, including France and Netherlands, demand that EU fishermen continue to have access to British waters under the current deal, which stipulates that the fishing catches today are based on the reference period between 1973 and 1978.

    London, however, rejects any agreement that might resemble the status quo and insists on holding annual discussions with the EU over quotas.

    The British government expressed hope to build a system whereby the two sides would agree on what percentage of shared stocks are attached to each of their European economic zones annually, based on the latest fish stock data.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeatedly threatened to ditch the Brexit talks if an agreement wasn't reached by 15 October, but at the moment his office stresses that a deal must be sealed before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020).

    Tags:
    Stephen Barclay, Fishermen, fisheries, United Kingdom, European Union, Brexit plan, Brexit Plan, Brexit, Brexit
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