Two EU sources have told Sky News that Britain and the EU have made “significant progress” in the Brexit talks on the rights of European sailors to fish in British waters.
Now there is a “landing zone”, which includes a phase introduction and specific allocation for different creatures.
However, they said it was not finalized.
UK government sources told Sky News that “there has been no improvement in fishing”: “nothing new has been achieved today.”
Adam Parsons, Sky Europe correspondent, said: “EU sources say fishing is not their biggest concern – they think it can be done.
“The biggest obstacle to a contract is the level of competition rules.
“This is in line with what we have been reporting all weekend.”
“Level playground” refers to issues of state aid – government subsidies – for business.
In the meantime, it’s time to conclude a deal.
EU chief negotiator Michael Barnier is due to brief European diplomats today, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to hold talks with European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen this evening.
Any agreement must be approved by both houses of parliament in the UK, the European Parliament and the EU leaders.
But if there is no agreement by the end of the month, Britain will leave the single market and customs union and trade with the EU in terms of WTO terms, i.e. tariffs and quotas.
Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin has warned that the situation is “on edge”.
He said there was still a “very challenging issue” to be resolved regarding the so-called “level playground” rules regarding fair competition.
“Things are on the edge of the knife, it’s serious. My gut instinct is, it’s 50-50 now. I don’t think anyone can be too optimistic about a resolution coming out,” he told RTI.
France has already warned that it will veto any deal if it is not happy, citing fears that President Emmanuel Macron might be willing to pay more to reach a deal.
The mood will not improve with the decision of the returning government Internal Market Bill House of Commons.
The law allows ministers to violate parts of the “divorce” settlement with Brussels, which the government has acknowledged to be in violation of international law.
MPs will vote today on measures to repeal the House of Lords amendments that removed rules relating to the Irish border.
On Wednesday, they will look at the taxation (pot change period) bill, which also contains provisions that upset the EU.
On Sunday, Lord Frost, the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, resumed talks with Mr Barnier in Brussels to try to resolve “significant differences”.
It came after an hour-long call on Saturday evening between Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Van der Leyen.
In a joint statement following their discussion, they said, “Progress has been made in many areas … Significant differences are in three key areas: level playground, governance and fisheries”.