The Brexit Secretary has slammed his EU counterpart for not making himself available for talks

The Brexit Secretary has spoken of his frustration at the pace of Brexit talks – criticising Michael Barnier for not making himself available for ‘face to face talks.’

Dominic Raab was granted a two hour meeting with Barnier last week, with a further three hours scheduled for this Friday.

Barnier – who tweeted a picture of himself on Sunday posing in the sun in Albertville, in his home region of Savoie in south-east France – has been in Germany, and was understood to be again leaving Brussels for Croatia on Friday afternoon, following what was set to be an early morning meeting with Raab.

Barnier subsequently changed his flights, however. Five hours of talks with Raab are now pencilled in to his diary awaiting confirmation, it is understood.

An EU official said: “The commission is working for a deal. Negotiation agendas, including meetings between principals, are decided jointly. The aim of the meetings between the principals is to take stock of progress made at technical and coordinator level.”

UK diplomats have complained that the commission’s repeated claims, made again by a spokesman on Tuesday, that Barnier was available for high-level talks at any point, night or day, had proven to be hyperbole.