EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told the European Parliament on Friday that there are “just a few hours left” for a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the bloc.

He said the moment of truth had arrived, and there remained a slim chance of a deal.

For the UK, PM Boris Johnson said: “Things are looking difficult and there is a gap that needs to be bridged.”

Perhaps surprisingly, given the complexity of other issues, fishing rights for EU boats remain the main stumbling block.

According to a BBC report, Mr Barnier said that if the UK wants to use its “sovereignty” over its waters to deny access to EU fisherman, “then the European Union also has to maintain its sovereign right to react or compensate adjusting conditions (to access the) single market”.

FILE PHOTO: Boris Johnson Reuters