In the run-up to next Thursday's EU summit, when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is most anxious to see a trade deal, EU ministers reiterated that too little progress has been made and more action is needed on the British side. is.
German EU minister Michael Roth said on Tuesday that the British should get moving on fishing, a disputes committee and fair competition.
"We have reached a critical point in the negotiations and we are all under extreme pressure. Time is running out," said Roth.
Michel Barnier, chief negotiator on behalf of the EU, has reportedly said in secret that while progress has been made here and there, the progress is far from enough.
He said publicly that the EU will continue to use the next few days and weeks to reach a fair trade deal.
He praised the unanimity within the union in the run-up to the top.
At the same time, there is criticism of France's intransigence in fisheries.
French EU minister Clement Beaune said on Tuesday that the EU must be "steadfast" on top priorities.
French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to repeat this point later this week, despite mounting pressure on the French to become more flexible.
Partly because of this, according to sources in Brussels, it is excluded that a trade agreement will be concluded this week.
Dominic Raab, the British Foreign Secretary, has a different voice on Tuesday.
He states that an agreement can indeed be reached this week.
He told parliament that the EU must be just as flexible and pragmatic as the United Kingdom has done so far.