Britain’s Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick insisted there were still significant blockages to a trade deal between Britain and the European Union.
Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday morning, Jenrick said: “I’m still reasonably optimistic but there’s no news to report to you this morning.
““There’s still the same serious areas of disagreement, whether that is on fisheries or the level playing field,” he said. “At the moment there isn’t sufficient progress. It isn’t a deal that the prime minister feels he can sign us up to.
“We are working through those issues, our negotiators will keep going – the Prime Minister has been very clear that he is going to negotiate until the very end because that is the right thing, it is what the British public would expect.”
The Brexit transition period ends on 31 December and talks have intensified this month despite Boris Johnson insisting he would walk away if negotiations had not been settled by Hallowe’en.
There have been numerous reports that the prime minister has hardened his Brexit stance in recent days after French President Emmanuel Macron shut down the French border at Calais citing Covid-19.
Mr Johnson was reportedly “incandescent” with rage at the move with one insider telling the Sun newspaper: “There’s a real chance relations with the French sink this whole thing, if there was ever a time to tell them to get stuffed, this might be it.”