UK negotiators must make 'a bigger effort' to try and secure a Brexit trade deal, the EU's trade chief has said, as talks prepare to continue next week.
The EU's trade commissioner, Phil Hogan, said negotiations had not made much progress to date, suggesting the UK may have "come to the conclusion that there is not going to be a deal".
However, Hogan urged his counterparts to "move on certain issues" in order to agree a deal that would mutually benefit both sides.
Perhaps the United Kingdom has come to the conclusion that there’s not going to be a deal. I hope not because we want a deal, but speed is of the essence because time is short."
Speaking to the trade committee of the European parliament on Wednesday, Hogan said: "Perhaps the United Kingdom has come to the conclusion that there's not going to be a deal. I hope not because we want a deal, but speed is of the essence because time is short."
We hope that we will see a bigger effort than we've seen to date from the UK side to move on certain issues, because we stand ready to move on ours, to move forward some of the solutions that are required on many issues of concern to both sides," he added.
Britain reportedly told the EU that the two parties were at a fundamental impasse, claiming that an agreement on fisheries might not be ready until July.
But Hogan hit back, noting the issues may represent a negotiating strategy on the UK's part, rather than issues of substance.