THE EU has accused the UK of 'wasting time' over Brexit negotiations as the seventh round of talks concluded with little progress.

The bloc's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart both agreed there had been virtually no movement on issues such as fisheries, and the 'level playing field'.

They also both agreed that reaching a deal is looking less likely, with a senior UK negotiating official saying it would "not be easy" but that they were "still working towards it".

In a statement, David Frost said: “As I said last week, agreement is still possible, and it is still our goal, but it is clear that it will not be easy to achieve.

“Substantive work continues to be necessary across a range of different areas of potential UK-EU future co-operation if we are to deliver it.

“We have had useful discussions this week but there has been little progress.”

Mr Barnier went further, saying: "an agreement... seems unlikely" during a press conference this morning.

Speaking after the discussions concluded, Mr Barnier said: “Too often this week it felt as if we were going backwards more than forwards.

"Given the short time left, what I said in London in July remains true. Today at this stage, an agreement between the UK and the European Union seems unlikely.

“I simply do not understand why we are wasting valuable time.”

The UK rejected the claim of time-wasting, with Mr Frost accusing the EU instead of making negotiations unnecessarily difficult” by “insisting” the UK must sign up to the bloc’s state aid and fisheries policy.

Mr Frost said: “The EU is still insisting not only that we must accept continuity with EU state aid and fisheries policy, but also that this must be agreed before any further substantive work can be done in any other area of the negotiation, including on legal texts,

"This makes it unnecessarily difficult to make progress. There are other significant areas which remain to be resolved and, even where there is a broad understanding between negotiators, there is a lot of detail to work through. Time is short for both sides."

Mr Barnier said that not only was progress slow on key issues, other areas have seen little progress too such as law enforcement and privacy.

He said the two sides are still struggling "to agree on the necessary guarantees to protect citizens’ fundamental rights and personal data" adding: "And also mobility and social security co-ordination where our positions are also driven far apart."

The EU negotiator insisted the bloc was "asking for nothing more but nothing less" than what Boris Johnson agreed in October, in a joint political declaration.

He said: “We hear the British Government’s concern about maintaining its sovereignty and its regulatory autonomy and we respect that, clearly. But no international agreement was ever reached without the parties agreeing to common rules – no international agreement.

“And I can predict, with absolute certainty, this will also be the case of trade agreements between the UK and other partners in the future such as the United States, Japan and Australia.

“Apart from the question of a level playing field there are still many other areas where progress is needed and for example, obviously fisheries where we have made no progress whatsoever on the issues that matter.”

The UK hit back at the EU’s accusation of time-wasting in the post-Brexit negotiations, accusing the bloc’s position of having “frozen” progress.

A senior negotiating official for the UK said: “The process block now is the EU’s insistence that we must accept their position on state aid and fisheries before we can talk about anything else.

“Obviously we’re not going to do that. So it’s frozen.

“That doesn’t seem to us to be sensible. We should be talking about the many other areas, some of which are productive, some of which are more difficult, but we are ready to talk about anything and it’s not us that’s slowing it down.”