The Council is responsible for providing the mandate to negotiate international fisheries agreements, for signing agreements on behalf of the EU and for adopting the final decision to implement the agreements under EU law, so Ricardo Serrão Santos should leave the Council of the 15 and 16 December with a mandate to negotiate with the United Kingdom and Norway. The Portuguese presidency of the EU Council starts on 1 January 2021 for a period of six months,

The issue of fisheries is one of those that remain to be negotiated between London and Brussels to reach a post-Brexit agreement. At the next Fisheries Council, the ministers will have on the agenda the European Commission's proposal for a renewal for the first quarter of 2021 of the total allowable catches (TAC) of this year, and the contingency plans to maintain access to waters in the United Kingdom and Norway.

The European Commission published contingency plans last Thursday so that road traffic, air traffic and fishing activities are not interrupted, while the United Kingdom confirmed this weekend that four British Navy vessels are ready to protect UK fishing waters if there is no agreement with the EU.

For its part, Norway has already threatened to prevent access to its fishing zone to Brussels and London from 1 January if the two blocks are not in agreement.