Mr Barnier warned today he wants more concessions from the UK before entering the last phase of trade negotiations. This comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s October 15 deadlines edges nearer. Fisheries has proved to be a major sticking point for the UK and EU during their trade negotiations.
However, the government of Flanders has told Mr Barnier it could invoke a royal charter dating back to 1666 in order to still be able to fish in UK waters after the transition period ends on December 31.
The treaty was issued by England’s King Charles II in 1666.
It permits 50 fishermen from Bruges to have “eternal access” to British waters.
A spokesman for Flemish Fisheries Minister Hilde Crevits said: “Our goal is to reach a negotiated deal.
“But if we don’t reach a deal, we could invoke the charter.
“It dates back to 1666 but has been confirmed by a UK lawyer in 1820.”
However, many Express.co.uk readers shared their frustration at this plan for EU fisherman.
One person said: “You misunderstand why we voted Brexit.
READ MORE: Johnson urged to capitalise on ‘EU panic to strike favourable deal’
A third said: “Boris will do the best thing possible for the UK.”
And a fourth reader simply added: “Ridiculous!”
The EU wants any future deal with the UK to uphold the bloc’s common fisheries policy.
The UK is pushing for annual negotiations on quotas that would significantly increase Britain’s share.
An EU official said: “The real question is can this round provide enough progress across the board, including on the most contentious files, to allow the intensive work of the final stretch to properly begin.”
MrJohnson’s spokesman said some progress had been made but there were still disagreements between the two sides.
The spokesman said: “We’ve had useful discussions this week and progress has been made in some areas.
“However, there still remain differences on some important issues.”