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POLITICAL

Michel Barnier: 'UK cannot refuse Brexit transition extension and slow down talks at the same time

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has accused the UK of dragging its feet over post-Brexit negotiations, at the end of the second round of talks on the future relationship.

He described this week's talks, which resumed this week by videoconference after a six-week standstill amid the coronavirus pandemic, as "disappointing" -- adding that no progress had been made in key areas.

The UK had failed to engage or provide texts on crucial topics such as fishing, Barnier said. Yet "more than ever, the clock is ticking," he added, ahead of crucial deadlines this year.

"We cannot accept to make selective progress, on a limited set of issues only. We need to make progress on all issues in parallel. We need to find solutions on the most difficult topics. The UK cannot refuse to extend the transition, and at the same time slow down discussions on important areas," the chief negotiator said.