The Brussels diplomat said Boris Johnson’s refusal to offer serious concessions was preventing a breakthrough in the talks. Ahead of a gathering of EU27 ambassadors, Mr Barnier told reporters the talks had reached a “crucial moment”. He said: “We are really in the crucial moment. We are giving it the final push. In ten days the UK will leave the single market.”
Mr Barnier warned the senior EU envoys the trade talks could go beyond the end of Britain’s transition out of the EU at the end of the year with Downing Street refusing to give in to the bloc’s demands.
An EU diplomat said: “Progress has been made. Most issues are preliminarily closed or close to being agreed. However, differences on fisheries remain difficult to bridge. Unfortunately, the UK is not moving enough yet to clinch a fair deal on fisheries.
“EU negotiators are in a last push now to make progress and to clinch a deal acceptable for both sides.
“The EU will not close its door to the UK and remains ready to negotiate even beyond January 1.”