BBC’s Andrew Marr called out the EU’s last-minute demands in the Brexit talks this week for trying to scupper Britain’s “freedom and independence”. He grilled a leading French MP Alexandra Holroyd, who is also a strong ally of Emmanuel Macron, on the latest demands from the EU. Mr Marr claimed that the EU’s latest fishing demand for 10 years of free access to British waters was “taking the Mickey”.
Mr Marr said: “The EU has hardened its negotiating position at the last minute and that is not fair dealing.”
When Mr Holroyd dismissed this, claiming the EU has held the “same position for the last four years,” the BBC host fired back.
He said: “Let’s look at fishing. Britain is regaining her independence as an independent coastal state, and that includes independence and authority over her own costal waters.
“So when the EU says they want access for the next ten years, to many people in Britain that looks like taking the Mickey, frankly.”
The French MP responded by claiming that the EU would cut off market access to British fishermen if French fishermen were banned from Britain’s waters.
He said: “Britain is gaining its full sovereignty over its fishing waters and the EU is regaining its full sovereignty over who has access to its markets.
“European fishermen fish a lot in British waters, but most fish fished by British fishermen are sold in the European common market.”
Mr Marr said: “But if Britain leaves but then has to follow EU regulations in any directions forever after, that’s not real freedom is it?
“That’s not authority, that’s not independence.”
France President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly threatened to block any deal with Britain that sees France lose out on fishing rights.
Sources from both camps have raised fears the negotiations will end with a no-deal Brexit, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for a “compromise” between the UK and EU.
Earlier this morning, Mr Eustice attacked the EU’s latest fishing offer in the Brexit talks as “ludicrous”.
The Environment Secretary told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge that the offer was “just not right” after the the EU proposed a “very modest increase” on its return of fish to the UK.