Talks on a trade agreement between Britain and the European Union could continue in the New Year if no agreement is reached, EU sources have cited Michel Barnier as saying.
A European source confirmed to Euronews reports from the AFP that the EU's chief negotiator said he would not close the door on the United Kingdom and that he remains ready to negotiate even beyond January 1.
Earlier Barnier told reporters in Brussels that European and British teams were giving it a "final push" in their talks for a post-Brexit trade agreement.
The UK leaves the European single market on 31 December, after its European Union membership ended earlier this year.
The two sides continue to disagree on three significant policy areas: European fishing rights in British waters, EU demands for fair competition rules and the question of how trade disputes will be resolved.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday ahead of a meeting in Brussels with EU ambassadors, Barnier said: "We are really in a crucial moment and we are giving it a final push," Barnier told journalists on Tuesday.
"In 10 days, the UK will leave the single market and I will continue to work in total transparency with the member states right now and with the [European] Parliament."
Talks between the two teams were set to continue on Wednesday.