EU's Barnier says at this stage deal with Britain seems unlikely

EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier takes off his face mask as he holds a news conference after a meeting with Britain's chief negotiator David Frost in Brussels, Belgium August 21, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator said on Friday that talks with Britain this week often appeared to going backwards rather than forwards and, at this point, it looked unlikely that a deal could be clinched before a year-end deadline.

“At this stage, an agreement between the UK and the European Union seems unlikely,” Barnier told a news conference after two full days of negotiations in Brussels.

“On the European side, we are very concerned about the state of play in our negotiations. The clock is ticking.”

Reporting by John Chalmers