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Impasse over post-Brexit deal continues

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European Union and British negotiators pressed on with talks on Saturday with no sign of them breaking an impasse over post-Brexit fishing rights in time to save a trade deal.

Fishing is now the main obstacle to any pact that could be in place on January 1 to prevent an economic jolt on both sides of the Channel as Britain leaves the single market. “It remains very blocked,” one EU diplomat said.

Another said Brussels had made Britain its last offer on fishing access and it was down now to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to decide whether he wants a deal. “If Britain doesn’t accept the latest EU offer of it will be a ‘no deal’ over fish,” he warned.

The EU’s pointman in the talks, Michel Barnier, has proposed EU fishermen giving up nearly a quarter of the value of the fish they currently catch in the UK waters. Britain is understood to be holding out for getting back much more than half. The U.K. has suggested this compromise last for three years before it is renegotiated, whereas Europe is holding out for seven.

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