Speaking after the latest round of divorce talks today, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator said the two sides “are not at the end of the road yet”.
He said: “There are major issues to be discussed and major questions to be answered.”
The Frenchman said “80 percent” of the Withdrawal Agreement has been agreed.
But he shot Theresa May’s proposals for a ‘Facilitated Customs Area’ which would have seen the UK collect tariffs on behalf of Brussels.
And in a swipe at Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, he said: “The UK wants to take back control of its money, law and borders. With respect, the EU also wants to keep control of its money, law and borders.
“The UK should respect that. We share an objective in that regard.”
READ MORE: Barnier refuses UK customs proposal and kills off May’s soft Brexit plan
The latest Brexit talks came as Tory rebels warned they would not accept a no-deal scenario, which they believe would ultimately lead to a soft Brexit.
Such a split could involve the UK remaining in some EU institutions, including the customs union, while having no seat at the table in Brussels.
A Government minister said: “There’s no way I’d support it.
“Can you really imagine Chancellor Philip Hammond or Jeremy Hunt supporting ‘no deal’ either? It’s not going to happen.”
Another senior Conservative MP told Politico.co.uk: “Theresa May would have to put her deal to the country and deselect all the MPs who did not agree.
“It would be a bloodbath and there’s no way she would want to do that. She is deeply wedded to the Conservative Party.”
Take a look back at today’s Brexit news with Express.co.uk’s live blog:
Brexit news: Michel Barnier cast doubt over a key aspect of the Chequers deal
9.30pm: Brexit news roundup
– Michel Barnier rejected the UK’s proposals for a post-Brexit customs system in a major blow to Theresa May’s plans for the split.
– But Barnier says Europe is “open to a customs union” with Britain.
– Dominic Raab says he is confident the UK and EU will reach a deal on the Irish backstop
– He says he will meet again with Mr Barnier in mid-August and hopes to reach a deal with the EU by October.
Michel Barnier rejected Theresa May’s customs proposals
5.10pm: Raab outlines next steps for talks
The Brexit Secretary said three things still need to happen in the negotiations. They are:
– Wrap up the remaining issues surrounding the Withdrawal Agreement
Mr Raab said the two sides were “closer” to reaching a deal.
– Solve the Irish border conundrum
Mr Raab said the UK has a “backstop” plan which has been discussed with the EU.
He said the plan would be a “practical” way forward if a future trade deal is not agreed in time.
But he added a time limit was needed for the backstop to remove the possibility of an “extended limbo”.
– Agree on terms for the future relationship
The Brexit Secretary said a timetable for the next phase of negotiations still needed to be agreed.
4.55pm: Barnier casts MAJOR doubt over May’s tariff plans
A key party of Theresa May’s Chequers deal is that the UK would collect tariffs on the EU’s behalf after Brexit, but Mr Barnier has just ruled that out.
He said: “The EU cannot and will not delegate the application of its customs rules and VAT to a non-member who would not be subject tot the EU’s governance structures.”
Michel Barnier warned there are still ‘major issues’ to resolve in the Brexit talks
4.45pm: Michel Barnier speaks after ‘constructive’ talks
The European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator has given his thoughts on the latest round of talks.
Michel Barnier revealed the UK and EU are moving closer to an agreement on continued cooperation on security and defence.
But he said there was still major issues which still need to be ironed out.
He said: “To be frank, we are not at the end of the road yet. There are major issues to be discussed and questions to be answered.”
4.30pm Dominic Raab and Michel Barnier to give update on Brexit talks
The Brexit Secretary and his European counterpart are preparing to speak at a press conference after the latest round of divorce talks.
The event was due to start at 4.30pm (5.30pm local time) but they seem to be running late.
France’s Europe minisiter Nathalie Loiseau said it is not too late to put the brakes on Brexit
3.40pm: Stop Brexit now and keep your current deal, says French minister
France’s Europen affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau has said it is not too late for the UK to put the brakes on Brexit.
She said Britain could fall back on to its current EU membership terms if the country changed its mind.
Speaking to the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said: “We have always said, always, that the door would remain open and that we were not the ones who wanted to diverge from the United Kingdom.
“It was the British people who decided to leave the European Union.”
Asked whether that meant the UK would be able to remain in the EU “on the same terms”, she said: “Sure, of course. Like every single member state of the European Union, we have one conviction, which is that the best possible status is being a member, the most profitable status.”
Theresa May is at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show
1:11pm: Doom-mongers have blasted May’s Brexit plan
Experts have warned the UK could be denied the opportunity to join a new free trade agreement bringing together some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
The white paper setting out the Prime Minister’s plans for life after Brexit specifically states that the UK could “potentially seek accession” to the new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) “on terms consistent with the future relationship with the EU”.
But experts are warning that Mrs May’s decision to seek a free trade deal with the EU on agricultural and manufactured goods would make CPTPP membership unlikely.
The CPTPP includes Australia, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
12:35pm: Theresa May has told farmers at the Royal Welsh Show that Brexit offers agriculture a “real opportunity for the future”.
Mrs May was meeting key industry stakeholders at Europe’s largest summertime agricultural show, setting out the Government’s plans for a post-Brexit farming policy.
Talking to farmers, landowners and estate managers she said the UK’s withdrawal from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a chance to develop policy “right for the United Kingdom”.
Brexit news: Theresa May’s political career could be left in tatters
11:22am: Boris Johnson has fired another broadside at Theresa May’s Brexit plans
The former foreign secretary branded them unworkable and calling on fellow Tory MPs to “chuck Chequers”
Mr Johnson – who walked out of the Cabinet days after signing up to the package at the Prime Minister’s country residence – said Mrs May’s blueprint would leave the UK in “vassalage, satrapy, colony status” to the EU.
10:47am: Cost of fruit, vegtables and meat could rise in event of no deal Brexit – warning
Former Waitrose managing director and International Trade Minister Lord Price warned that a no-deal Brexit would push up the cost of fruit and veg, meat and dairy products because they could not be stockpiled.
The UK currently relies on Europe for 80 percent of vegetables and 30 percent of fruit, and finding new routes and supplies would push up costs, he warned.
He told Today: “What you will see is rather than a pinch on supply – although that is highly likely – is a pretty significant increase in the cost of fruit and veg, the cost of meat and the cost of dairy products.”
10:05am: Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has promised to bring “as much energy as I can” to the talks with Michel Barnier
The meeting comes as both sides of the negotiations step up plans to cope with a collapse in talks which would result in the UK leaving without a deal in March 2019.
9:32am: Remainer Sir Richard Branson has launched a furious attack on Brexiteers
The billionaire claimed the British people were “misled” in the 2016 vote and would “change their minds” if Britain had a second referendum.
9:13am: Theresa May has been handed a lifeline in order to revive her latest plans by European leaders who are concerned Brexit negotiations have come to a complete standstill
She will be given the opportunity to convince member states directly that her Brexit White Paper is a worthy negotiating base after the document was all but rejected by the European Commission’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier
Brexit news: Dominic Raab is to hold talks with Michel Barnier
8:46am: France’s European affairs minister has warned the UK would suffer more than the European Union from a no-deal exit
Nathalie Loiseau said that while the EU is not looking forward to any no-deal Brexit, it will not accept a “bad deal”.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “I do remember Prime Minister May saying that no-deal was better than a bad deal.
“It’s among the bad solutions but I should say that no-deal is not as bad as a bad deal for the European Union as well.
“We would all suffer, the worst would be for the United Kingdom but we get prepared for a no-deal because until now we have seen no significant progress regarding the withdrawal agreement which would relieve us from this concern that there could be a no-deal (exit).”
8:36am: Gary Linekar has waded into the Brexit debate
The former England ace and now sports pundit called for a second referendum because Brexit “feels like it is going very wrong indeed”.
8:31am: Britain has begun formally circulating its tariff schedules at the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
The move means that Britain is ready for a World Trade Deal where the UK relies on international rules instead of striking a formal trade deal with the EU and is free to make free trade agreements around the world as well as set its own regulations.