‘Very grave!’ Barnier says just HOURS left for Brexit deal as he pleads with Boris to cave

Brexit: Guy Verhofstadt says he is 'optimistic' for a deal

The Brussels diplomat said the row over fisheries is the “main hurdle” to finding a free-trade agreement in the coming days. Speaking in the EU Parliament in Brussels, Mr Barnier added: “We have little time remaining – just a few hours – if we want this agreement to enter into force on January 1.” The Frenchman told MEPs it would be “unacceptable” to sign any pact that doesn’t guarantee European boats fishing opportunities in the UK’s coastal waters.

Mr Barnier said the dispute means he is uncertain whether he can secure a deal even with just hours left to wrap up the talks.

He said the EU official are attempting to secure a mechanism to crackdown on Britain if the Government closes access to UK waters in the future.

“If following a critical period of adjustment that is deemed unnecessary, if the UK wants to cut access towhees waters for European fishermen, at any given time, then the EU also has to maintain its sovereign right react or to compensate by adjusting the conditions for products, and especially fisheries products, to the single market,” Mr Barnier said.

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The Frenchman said the issue was hoping up the talks and blocking any hope of a significant breakthrough.

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