British and EU negotiators met Friday in a last-ditch bid to restart talks on an orderly Brexit, amid “promising signals” that a deal could still be possible just days before a key EU summit.
British minister Stephen Barclay and EU negotiator Michel Barnier met for two hours behind closed doors in the Brussels headquarters of the European Union, one day after talks between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar.
As they met, the president of the European Council and host of next week´s Brussels summit Donald Tusk warned that Britain has yet to come forward with a “workable, realistic proposal” for a Brexit deal.
“A week ago I told Prime Minister Johnson that if there was no such proposal by today, I would announce publicly that there are no more chances, because of objective reasons, for a deal during the incoming European Council,” he said.
“However, yesterday, when the Irish Taoiseach and the UK prime minister met they both saw, for the first time, a pathway to a deal. I have received promising signals from the Taoiseach that a deal is still possible,” Tusk said, during a trip to Cyprus.
“Technical talks are taking place in Brussels as we speak. Of course, there is no guarantee of success and the time is practically up. But even the slightest chance must be used,” he warned.— Agencies