If no trade deal The Royal Navy will protect UK waters from European Union fishing boats

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The UK and the EU have until 31 December 2020 to agree a trade deaL. The terms offered by the European Union on negotiation continue to be “unacceptable” to the UK, according to a government source. Both parts agreed on the Sunday deadline earlier this week. The EU is determined to prevent the UK from gaining what it sees as an unfair advantage of having tariff-free access to its markets. Fishing rights is another major area of disagreement, with the EU warning that without access to UK waters for EU fleets, UK fishermen will no longer get special access to EU markets to sell their goods. The UK argues that what goes on in its own waters, and its wider business rules, should be under its control as a sovereign country.

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It was confirmed on Saturday that no-deal preparations had seen Royal Navy vessels prepared to tackle “threats of illegal fishing” in UK waters. A UK government spokesman said: “We’ve run live exercises moving fresh produce and fish across the border, and scrambled naval vessels to respond to threats of illegal fishing in our soon-to-be sovereign waters.” Mrs von der Leyen said no deal was the most probable end to “difficult” talks. She told reporters that the two sides were still “apart on fundamental issues”.