April 27, 2020 / 3:06 PM / a month ago

UK's Gove says odds are in favour of EU deal but fishing a sticking point

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove speaks at a digital news conference on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in 10 Downing Street in London, Britain April 4, 2020. Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said on Monday the odds were in favour of Britain striking a deal with the European Union on a future relationship this year, but fishing rights were a problem.

Gove accused the bloc, which Britain quit in January after 47 years of membership, of refusing to treat the United Kingdom as an independent state on the issue of fishing rights.

“I’m confident. I’m not very good at predictions,” Gove told a parliamentary committee. “I would think the odds were definitely better than 2 to 1.

On the issue of fisheries, where Britain says Brussels had to accept that it would have control over its waters in future, he said: “This is one area where I think that the EU’s stance is particularly difficult and challenging.

“It’s another example of one of the areas where the EU’s negotiators are not treating the UK yet as they would treat other independent countries.”

Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Estelle Shirbon

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