This occurs after EU capitals received a “thought-provoking” update from Michel Barnier, EU chief negotiator, following the recent round of Brexit negotiations. The EU chief negotiator presented details on talks with the ambassadors of the 27 Member States on Friday. A German government spokesman, who holds the rotating EU presidency, said the blockade is ready to move the negotiations forward quickly, but “expressed the need for more realism in London”.

The comments are bad news for Downing Street who hoped for an intervention by Merkel and other leaders who would unlock the talks.

Speaking to The Guardian, a British source close to the negotiations said: “With the budget now over, we hope that the Member States will become more involved in this process in Brussels and will make them advance politically in a useful way”.

Both sides ended their last round of talks in London on Thursday.

However, neither party has been able to agree on the basic outline of an agreement to reassure businesses about the future.

Sources said Michel Barnier was not overly pessimistic in his presentation on Friday.

However, Thursday warned that an agreement later this year appeared “unlikely” given the British position on fishing and Brussels’ demands for a “level playing field”.

He warned the ambassadors that he believed that the negotiations should be closed in early October due to the long ratification process.

READ MORE: British banking on Merkel to convince the EU to drop fishing demand

It is understood that some of the eight Member States with the greatest interest in access to fishing have reiterated in the room of ambassadors that they would not have agreed on an agreement without an agreement on fishing.

Last week’s talks on access to fishing focused on quota sharing agreements and the list of stocks for which quotas need to be agreed.

Barnier said that the UK was effectively excluding European fleets from key fish stocks in a move that risked destroying the block’s fishing industry.

The EU calls for a “forward-looking” mechanism to ensure that there is no regulatory undercutting in the future should the EU develop its regulation further.


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