When asked whether the Royal Navy will board fishing boats in the event of a no deal Brexit, Mr Raab admitted the UK has “always had the ability to take enforcement action” on foreign vessels. He noted extra vessels have been agreed in no deal planning. The Ministry of Defence said four Royal Navy patrol ships will be ready on January 1 to help protect Britain’s fishing waters in the event of no deal.
Speaking to BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Mr Raab said: “We will adhere to all the rules in the international law and the others rules that apply to make sure we can enforce in a proportionate way our fisheries.
“That’s why for the French this is crazy to end up without a trade deal when they’re making such aggressive demands on fisheries.
“If we leave without a trade deal, they will have zero assured access to our fisheries.”
Mr Marr interjected: “This could get quite nasty, couldn’t it?”
Mr Raab continued: “I don’t think on our side.
“We are quite pragmatic in the Northern Ireland context, we want to resolve things.
“The Prime Minister has shown the leadership, our team are hard at it.
“But it’s the EU that has been politically very aggressive about this.”
Post-Brexit trade talks have entered their final day with the UK and European Union continuing last ditch efforts to find a breakthrough on a deal before the weekend deadline.
Negotiators were set to carry on discussions into the early hours while Boris Johnson will again speak with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday, despite pessimism from both sides.
Sources in the British Government warned the offer on the table from the EU was still “unacceptable” to the UK, with the country teetering on the edge of a no-deal Brexit that is predicted to cost jobs and force food prices to increase.
The trade talks continue to be deadlocked over the thorny issues of fishing rights and the so-called level playing field “ratchet” that would tie the UK to future EU standards.
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Mr Johnson and his European counterpart previously had a dinner meeting in Brussels during the week in which both agreed a firm decision on the future of negotiations was needed by the end of the weekend.
The outlook after discussions on Saturday was described as “very difficult” but officials said the Prime Minister was determined to explore every option to secure a free trade agreement.
A Government source said: “Talks are continuing overnight, but as things stand the offer on the table from the EU remains unacceptable.
“The Prime Minister will leave no stone unturned in this process, but he is absolutely clear: any agreement must be fair and respect the fundamental position that the UK will be a sovereign nation in three weeks’ time.”