UK and EU stuck on fish after leaders’ Brexit call

LONDON — The U.K. and EU flagged fisheries as the current Brexit roadblock as both sides warned a trade deal will be difficult. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen issued statements after a stock-taking call on Thursday evening. 

“The prime minister underlined that the negotiations were now in a serious situation,” a Downing Street statement said after the call. “Time was very short and it now looked very likely that agreement would not be reached unless the EU position changed substantially.”

The statement added that Johnson told his counterpart the EU position on fish was “simply not reasonable and if there was to be an agreement it needed to shift significantly.”

In a separate statement, von der Leyen said: “We welcomed substantial progress on many issues. However, big differences remain to be bridged, in particular on fisheries. Bridging them will be very challenging.”

Leaders in the European Parliament have demanded a deal by midnight on Sunday so MEPs can consider giving its approval at a special session before the end of the transition period on December 31.



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