EU's Barnier: just hours left for a Brexit deal

As fears of a no deal Brexit grow, so too do the queues of lorries heading towards Europe's busiest trucking port, Dover.

But when Britain finally leaves the European Union's orbit on December 31st, port CEO Doug Bannister says it will be ready.

"We've been working on Brexit, our contingency planning, everything having to do with it for four years now. We had a number of trial runs during the course of 2019 and certainly over the last few months working with partners with the Kent Resilience forum, we've tested and tried all the various activities that we need to do to make certain that we are as best prepared as we can be."

It was a similar scene just a few miles across the channel in the port town of Calais on Friday (Dec 18).

That as EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned time was running out to prevent the most turbulent finale to the Brexit crisis.

"We are at a moment of truth. We have very little productive time left for these negotiations, a few hours, if we want the agreement to come into force on January 1. As our President, Ursula von der Leyen, told you here two days ago, there is the possibility of a deal -- that's what I think, as a negotiator -- but the path is very narrow."

As talks go down to the wire, both sides are demanding that the other compromise.

An accord would ensure that trade worth nearly a trillion dollars would remain free of tariffs and quotas beyond the end of the year.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday (December 17) that talks were in a serious situation.

Johnson, the face of the 2016 Brexit campaign, will ultimately have to decide whether to accept the narrow deal on offer.

Or risk the economic and political chaos that walking away would trigger.