Downing Street has called for “more realism” in Brexit talks, with negotiators set to resume “intensive” discussions in London this week.
The talks come with just ten days to go until the self-imposed deadline of the next meeting of the European Council on October 15.
The details of the London talks have not been confirmed, but they will be followed by another set of intense negotiations in Brussels in an attempt to break the deadlock.
The warning came as the EU’s negotiator headed to Berlin for talks with Angela Merkel.
Mr Barnier also met with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who said that a no-deal Brexit would be “irresponsible”.
He added: “With today’s health and economic challenges, people on both sides of the channel have enough to shoulder, so it would be totally irresponsible to burden them in this position with the additional problems through a no-deal.”
Mr Maas stressed that the EU was still open to constructive discussions with the UK. “Our door is still open for a close and ambitious partnership with Britain,” he said.
But No 10 was failing to strike an enthusiastic note on Monday as it called on the Brussels to soften its approach on issues – particularly fishing.
The UK is demanding the rights to determine access to British waters for fishing fleets – which would massively increase the amount UK boats could catch.
The EU is understood to be requesting a status quo for EU vessels in UK waters, perhaps as part of fisheries transition agreement.
Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The PM made a commitment in his manifesto, on which he was elected with a significant majority in 2019, to take back control of the UK fishing waters and it’s his intention to deliver upon that promise.
“Repatriation of the fisheries is very important; the PM is committed to ensuring greater opportunities for our fishermen to benefit from the significant stocks of fish we have in our waters.
“We think what we’re proposing on fish is a reasonable and straightforward position and we have said very consistently that if the gaps on fisheries are going to be bridged then we need more realism from the EU on the scale of change that results from our departure.”
On Sunday, Mr Johnson confirmed that the two sides would work “intensively”
He said: “I think it’s there to be done. Alas, there are some difficult issues that need to be fixed.
“There is no question that the EU needs to understand that we’re utterly serious about needing to control our own laws and our own regulations.
“And similarly they need to understand that the repatriation of the UK’s fisheries which were lost in 1973 is very important.”