Doubts over fishing rights, a topic that endangered the Brexit talks, will have to be resolved well before the end of the post-divorce transition period, European leaders said Sunday.
The statement came after several EU member states voiced 11th-hour concerns about the draft deal that was approved on Sunday, particularly about their boats’ access to British waters after March.
‘A fisheries agreement is a priority issue, and should be based on the principles of reciprocal access and existing quotas,’ a statement said. 
A future fisheries agreement ‘must be concluded well before the end of the transition period’ after Brexit, which should last until the end of 2020 but may be extended for up to two years, the statement said. 
‘For us access to British waters is a priority,’ said a source close to French President Emmanuel Macron. 
The divorce agreement approved by EU leaders on Sunday assures that European fishermen will retain access to British territorial waters during the transition period.  
During the transition, Britain will continue to apply EU rules and contribute to its budget, but without participating in its decision-making.