PUBLISHED: 08:03, Wed, Sep 2, 2020 | UPDATED: 12:03, Wed, Sep 2, 2020
The UK and European Union remain deadlocked in post-Brexit trade talks - more than five months after they started - as they both refuse to give ground in a number of areas and repeatedly blame each other for the current stalemate in negotiations. Michel Barnier last month set a deadline for a deal to be struck by October 31 for it to be ratified by the European Parliament in time for the transition period deadline on December 31, fears of a no deal Brexit are increasing by the day. Now Boris Johnson and Downing Street have issued one of the biggest warnings yet over a Brexit deal, stating that while it is still possible to agree, "it is clear that will not be easy to achieve".
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We will continue to work hard to reach an agreement and look forward to the next round (of talks) next week.
"We believe an agreement is still possible and it is still our goal but it is clear that will not be easy to achieve."
When asked if there was now a possibility the transition period could be extended beyond this year - which Mr Johnson has repeatedly refused - the spokesman insisted: No.
"I think the EU continues to insist that we must agree on difficult areas in the negotiations, such as EU state aid, before any further work can be done in any other area of the negotiation, including on legal texts... that makes it very difficult to make progress.
Brexit news: Boris Johnson has sent the EU an ultimatum over a trade deal (Image: GETTY)
"We would instead like to settle the simplest issues first in order to build momentum in the talks as time is short for both sides."
Mr Barnier travelled to London on Tuesday for further informal Brexit talks with UK negotiating counterpart David Frost.
The eighth round of formal negotiations begins next week, with pressure on both sides to give ground on one of a number of red lines in order for a crucial breakthrough to be made.
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Brexit news: Downing Street has warned of the possibility of a no deal outcome with the EU (Image: GETTY)
11.58am update: Brexit fisheries row - ‘Naval battle’ warning as EU braces for life without UK waters
Brexit will cause fishermen from various EU member states to clash over congested fishing grounds, some in the bloc have warned, amid the trade talks standoff.
The UK has warned the EU that it is prepared to walk away from trade talks over Brussels' state aid demands. The two parties have also clashed over fisheries, as the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, insists that if the UK doesn't open up its waters, access to European market will be denied.
The UK's lucrative fishing grounds are crucial to many in the EU, and some fishermen have warned of clashes without them.
Jan Buisseret, commercial manager at Ostend auction in Belgium said: "It will mean that the whole fleet of Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Ireland will fish in the coast close to Europe.
"But there is no room for everyone. If we have rights to fish in British areas, the Brits will have the rights to sell their products here in Europe because they do not have fleets, they do not have the same consumption of fish as we have."
Brexit news: Fishing has become a key issue in trade talks with the EU (Image: GETTY)
10.55am update: Rolls Royce not planning to move production out of UK after Brexit
The chief executive of Rolls Royce has insisted the company has no plans to move production out of Britain because of Brexit.
Torsten Muller-Otvos told Reuters: "We are committed to Britain. I would even call us being part of the British industrial crown jewels.
"For that reason, Rolls-Royce belongs to Britain."
10.43am update: Nothing to do with EU - Brussels warned not to take Argentina's side over the Falklands
The Falkland Islands is not the European Union's business, Josep Borrell, the bloc's foreign policy supremo, has been warned, after it was revealed Argentina had written to him in a bid to enlist support for its sovereignty claim - and link the issue to Brexit.
Graham Pascoe recently published a book called Falklands Facts and Fallacies to counter the numerous inaccuracies which he says Buenos Aires has been guilty of over the years in relation to the history of the British overseas