Michel Barnier says there has been NO progress on Brexit talks

Michel Barnier says there has been NO progress on Brexit talks

But Mr Barnier blasted the UK's approach, claiming it was rowing back on promises in the Political Declaration - a key document agreed between both sides past year.

He noted some progress in talks over human rights guarantees that would allow Britain and the European Union to go on cooperating in criminal and judicial matters from 2021, but added that even that are was far off from the possible agreement.

But concessions will be needed from both sides for even a very narrow deal to be agreed by the UK-imposed deadline of the end of this year.

Following four days of video discussions, the sides remained at loggerheads on many topics, including on regulations for businesses.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to hold talks with Barnier's boss, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and the chairman of the 27 EU leaders, Charles Michel later this month.

Frost also said that, while solid progress has been lacking, the talks have been "positive" in tone.

Barnier expressed hope that, by the time of the next round (round five) at the end of this month, the two negotiating teams could meet face-to-face again, which, he said, would benefit the talks.

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"I think it will work better, it'll be more effective and easier".

Since the Brexit referendum vote in 2016 over a £1 trillion of assets have already been transferred from the United Kingdom to the remaining EU27 countries and more is likely to be transferred if no deal is reached by the end of the year.

Britain wants binding commitments from the European Union on financial market access to avoid the country's finance industry suddenly being cut off from the bloc, a request Brussels has rejected, European Union officials and diplomats said yesterday. "We will not accept this backtracking on the political declaration".

The EU demands continued access to Britain's territorial fishing waters, with the Common Fisheries Policy now allowing EU trawlers to land approximately 60 per cent of the fish caught in the waters around the United Kingdom while British fishermen go bust.

The EU and Britain are holding a fourth round of virtual talks on their future relations following the UK's split from the bloc after 40 years of membership.

He said the government remains committed to a "successful outcome" and suggested that the format of the remote discussion may be hindering progress.

The Government has repeatedly ruled out seeking an extension to the transition period, with any request for a one-year or two-year extension needing to be formally lodged by the end of this month.

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