UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly ended dinner with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, which was aimed at breaking a Brexit trade deadlock, without agreement.
The BBC reports that Ms von der Leyen said that the two sides were still “far apart”, while Downing Street reported “very large gaps” still remain.
Discussions between the UK’s chief negotiator, Lord Frost, and the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will resume in Brussels today.
The BBC went on to report Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who remarked that it was “unlikely” for negotiations to be extended beyond Sunday.
A Downing Street spokesperson has said that following last night’s dinner between Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen, agreement was reached that by Sunday, a firm decision should be taken about the future of the talks”.
Further to this, the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg reported that the dinner had gone “badly”, and therefore the chances of the UK exiting the Brexit transition period without a deal in place was “a big step closer”.
Come 31st December, the UK will be out of the EU, and, should a deal fail to be reached, the two sides will have to revert to World Trade Organisation rules.
Major sticking points continue to be fishing rights, business competition rules and how a deal will be regulated/policed.
The dinner between Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen has largely been seen as a last-ditch chance to work through the remaining bones of contention.