Amelie de Montchalin insisted the European Union may not be able to agree to a final Brexit trade deal with the UK unless common ground is reached on access to British fishing waters. Ms de Montchalin insisted Brussels made clear all four demands the bloc put forward, including fisheries, will have to be addressed in a new deal and failing to resolve even one could result in a no deal scenario. Speaking to Andrew Marr on Sunday, the French minister said: "We linked four subjects.
"We linked the free trade agreement, conditions of competition, governance of the whole deal and fishing. We feel we cannot agree on any of these subjects if we cannot agree on the whole of the four points."
After BBC host Andrew Marr asked again whether a trade deal could fall through because of fisheries, Ms de Monchaline replied: "Yes.
"We said there are four topics linked in the negotiations. What I want to say on fishing and all the topics – all we played with is emotion, with drama, with passion, with symbols.
"And we know how to make it a very nasty battle, both sides, where politicians in the UK and in France are put in a very difficult situation. In the end, we will both lose."
JUST IN: EU is terrified now we’re the world flexible friend
France's de Montchalin admitted a trade deal could fall through if there is no agreement on fishing (Image: BBC)
De Montchalin issued the warning the day before UK-EU trade talks began (Image: BBC)
France’s leader Emmanuel Macron warned last week Paris would seek compensation if French fishermen are kept from entering British waters at the end of the Brexit transition period.
Mr Macron told several French regional newspapers: “I want to tell our fishermen that I will fight for them. If we do not get the same access as today, we will seek compensation.
“I will not let our fishermen pay for a British vote they could do nothing about."
The UK’s fishing waters are among the richest in the North-East Atlantic zone where most of the catch of European Union member states is hauled in.