British Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has accused the EU of being "not serious" about making the compromises needed to secure a post-Brexit trade deal.

Having previously put the chances of an agreement with the EU at 66%, he told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday the chances were now "less".

"It's less. I can't be precise but one of the reasons why [it is less] is the position that's been taken in the last couple of weeks by European Union leaders," he added.

"What we've seen and what our negotiators have found is the European Union side have not been willing to produce the detailed legal text," Mr Gove said.

"They have not been willing to intensify the talks in a way that would indicate that they were actually serious about reaching an agreement.

"They have also insisted that we accept a level of control over our autonomy that an independent country can't really accept.

"And at the same time they're saying they should continue to have exactly the same access to, for example, our fishing waters and fishing stocks as before.

"And so that seems to me to be the behaviour of an organisation and an institution that is not serious about making the compromises necessary to secure a deal." 

Mr Gove said the ball is in EU negotiator Michel Barnier's court as to whether Brexit talks continue next week.

"The ball is in his court. We've made clear that we need to see a change in approach from the European Union.

"I know that he'll be calling David Frost over the course of the next few days, let's see if the European Union appreciate the importance of reaching a deal and the importance of making ground."

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Speaking later on the BBC, Mr Gove said the door remained "ajar" for talks to continue on a post-Brexit trade deal if the European Union changed its approach.

"I think the EU effectively ended the current round of talks last week. It was the case we were making progress but then the EU retreated from that," he said.

Asked if the door was ajar for talks to continue, Mr Gove replied: "It is ajar. We hope that the EU will change their position; we're certainly not saying if they do change their position that we can't talk to them."

Michael Gove said the UK is prepared to leave the EU on "Australian terms" but added "that's not going to be a picnic".

Meanwhile British groups representing 190,000 businesses and seven million workers have made an urgent plea for a trade deal to be agreed before the UK leaves the EU.

Industry leaders in sectors including automotive, aviation, chemicals, creative industries, farming, food and pharmaceuticals said they were united in calling for a quick agreement for the sake of jobs and livelihoods.

The CBI and 71 separate trade associations and professional bodies said a deal would "turbo charge" business preparations for Brexit and increase confidence in the UK as a place to invest, as well as helping to ease implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

A joint statement said: "Now is the time for historic political leadership. With compromise and tenacity, a deal can be done. Businesses call on leaders on both sides to find a route through."


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