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Bruno Le Maire says no Brexit bargain on finance for fish

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire | Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images

Bruno Le Maire says no Brexit bargain on finance for fish

‘They chose to leave the EU so if they want to access our market, they will do it under our conditions,’ says French finance minister.

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2/6/20, 3:55 PM CET

Updated 2/6/20, 4:12 PM CET

PARIS — French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire rejected the idea of trading fishing for financial services in Brexit talks with the U.K.

“We must indeed find a deal on fishery access but there will be no grand bargain, Le Maire said at the POLITICO and L’AGEFI Finance Summit in Paris. “I am totally against this idea, which would mean that we’d give in to finance,” he added.

The U.K. leaving the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has caused anxiety in several coastal communities across Europe, as Britain could block access to its exclusive economic zone — the area around its shores where it will regain control of fishing rights.

Le Maire’s comments signaled that he’s pushing for Europe to force the U.K. to grant access to its waters for EU-flagged boats.

Saying EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier had the “right approach,” Le Maire hammered home his wish to maintain a firm tone during negotiations, including in discussions over recognition of financial rules.

The Commission has maintained that U.K. financial services will be able to do business in the EU27 only in select sectors where it recognizes British rules as “equivalent”

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