French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing for a climbdown on his hardline demands for access to Britain’s coastal waters, it has emerged. In private meetings with fishing industry chiefs, the government have hinted at a possible compromise in the wrangling over an EU-UK future relationship pact. Ministers said fishermen should brace for impact after the end of the post-Brexit transition period on December 31.

After the meeting, Fishermen Jerome Vicquelin said: “I was rather blunt and said: ‘It’s all well and good you came, but I’m worried because…just a 10-15% cut in turnover… would be a disaster over the long term.

“They were blunt too. They said it won’t be the same as before. For me it’s clear, they just want to try to limit damages as much as possible.”

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