UK negotiators have denied trying to scupper Brexit talks by discussing the rights of every single fish in British waters.
Chief negotiator David Frost told Michel Barnier’s team there had not been enough attention paid to the views and wellbeing of individual cod, mackerel and herrings.
Frost said: “These poor creatures cannot talk, but I feel sure that if they could they would proudly proclaim they were as British as Big Ben or the Falklands.
“It’s profoundly unfair that under existing quota rules we can’t have first dibs on catching, gutting and devouring these British citizens.
“And what if they have holiday homes in the EU? Or need to see an EU doctor? Admittedly I’ve never heard of that happening but these are issues that need to be ironed out.”
Sources said the EU was clearly ‘rattled’ and ‘very confused’. Other issues raised by British negotiators recently have included whether lager can be sold as ‘British champagne’, the plumpness of pillows and who won the war anyway.
The latest setback also comes just weeks after both sides discovered they had talked for so long about the Irish border they no longer remembered what the question was.