Brexit tensions escalated again today as France slammed Boris Johnson‘s ‘intransigent and unrealistic’ stance on trade talks.

Europe minister Jean-Yves Le Drian delivered a stinging rebuke to the PM in a speech amid fears that negotiations are on the verge of collapse.

The two sides are at odds over access to fishing waters and whether the UK should continue to obey EU rules, with the clock running down to get a deal in place for the end of the transition period in January.

Mr Johnson has insisted he is ready to walk away from the table within weeks rather than compromise sovereignty. Michel Barnier is expected to travel to London this week ahead of the next round of talks in a bid to find a way through the bitter standoff. 

Speaking to French ambassadors in Paris alongside German counterpart Heiko Maas this morning, Mr Le Drian said: ‘Negotiations are not advancing due to the intransigent and frankly unrealistic attitude of the United Kingdom.’

France blasts 'intransigent and unrealistic' Boris Johnson as Brexit trade talks turn nasty with …

France blasts 'intransigent and unrealistic' Boris Johnson as Brexit trade talks turn nasty with …

France blasts 'intransigent and unrealistic' Boris Johnson as Brexit trade talks turn nasty with …

France blasts 'intransigent and unrealistic' Boris Johnson as Brexit trade talks turn nasty with …

Europe minister Jean-Yves Le Drian delivered a stinging rebuke to the PM in a speech amid fears that negotiations are on the verge of collapse

France blasts 'intransigent and unrealistic' Boris Johnson as Brexit trade talks turn nasty with …

France blasts 'intransigent and unrealistic' Boris Johnson as Brexit trade talks turn nasty with …

Mr Le Drian was speaking to ambassadors in Paris alongside German counterpart Heiko Maas (left) this morning

There were claims last week that Michel Barnier had been ringing round EU leaders warning that the talks were near the ‘end of the road’.

Mr Barnier is trying to heap pressure on Mr Johnson to compromise and has asked German Chancellor and French President for support.

However, Tory MPs have warned Brussels must realise the UK is ‘under new management’ and will not cave in.  

Germany currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council and had intended to discuss Brexit during the meeting of envoys this week.

But it was dropped from the agenda due to a lack of progress in recent months in discussions between Brussels and the UK as they try to agree the terms of the future relationship.

EU officials accuse London of a ‘wasted summer’ and are said to be increasingly of the view Downing Street is prepared to walk away without a deal and blame the bloc.

However, Tory MPs believe Brussels is posturing to force Number 10 to make concessions. 

France blasts 'intransigent and unrealistic' Boris Johnson as Brexit trade talks turn nasty with …

France blasts 'intransigent and unrealistic' Boris Johnson as Brexit trade talks turn nasty with …

The UK’s negotiator David Frost (left) and Michel Barnier in Brussels last month

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