The Brussels diplomat is expected to say a concession in the row over future access to Britain’s coastal waters is needed to get a deal over the line. It is understood the Frenchman sees the shift as necessary to pave the way for Downing Street to move towards the bloc’s demand for common standards. One source said: “That’s the price the UK needs to pocket for a compromise on the level playing field.”
The meeting was described as “urgent” with Mr Barnier still expected to travel to London to resume in-person talks with UK counterpart Lord Frost.
Mr Barnier is also expected to brief EU ambassadors on the wrangling over the post-Brexit future relationship pact.
EU sources said France is expected to push back against any possible compromise.
Paris is still insisting on near-parity access to Britain’s waters as the price for any Brexit trade deal.
Barnier will plead for a compromise on fishing in showdown talks tomorrow