EU’s Donald Tusk sees 'promising' signals for a Brexit deal

  • EU’s Donald Tusk sees 'promising' signals for a Brexit deal

EU’s Donald Tusk sees 'promising' signals for a Brexit deal

Her comments come after a positive meeting between Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, following which the pair said they could "see a pathway" to a potential deal.

European Union countries have given the go-ahead for more "intensified" Brexit talks to take place, the BBC has been told.

Mr Varadkar has reiterated time and again that there will be no hard border in Ireland- the offer of a deal from Mr Johnson last week was rejected on the grounds that there would be checks on goods-vehicles crossing between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Mr Varadkar said talks were at a "very sensitive stage" but he was now "convinced" the United Kingdom wanted a deal, adding: "I do see a pathway towards an agreement in the coming weeks".

Following his "technical" discussion with Mr Barclay in Brussels, Mr Barnier told reporters: "Be patient".

The best thing we can do now is let negotiators get on with it.

This afternoon, Michel Barnier debriefed the EU27 Ambassadors.

The tunnel is Brussels jargon for intensive talks among a small core of negotiators carried out in total secrecy with the aim of hammering out a deal away from the prying eyes and loud objections of onlookers.

But he ruled out making that declaration, offering to hold out for the "slightest chance" of success, after speaking with the Taoiseach.

While the talks were going on, Mr Tusk offered the PM some tepid positivity and revealed that he had threatened Mr Johnson with publicly announcing on Friday that he had exhausted all opportunities of securing a deal by the crucial European Union summit on October 17 and 18.

Meanwhile the DUP, whose support is likely to be crucial if Mr Johnson is to get a deal through Parliament, warned they would only back measures that were in the "long-term economic and constitutional interests " of Northern Ireland.

'I have received promising signals from the Taoiseach that a deal is still possible, ' Mr Tusk said.

"Of course there is no guarantee of success and the time is practically up but even the slightest chance must be used".

After days of signals that the talks were close to collapse, there is now speculation of a United Kingdom compromise on the issue of the backstop, created to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.

That is despite the so-called Benn Act - passed by MPs last month - demanding he request a delay to the Article 50 deadline from the European Union until January 2020 if a deal has not been agreed before 19 October.

Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union (EU) on October 31.

Many MPs believe that, if he can not get a deal, Mr Johnson will use the occasion to push for a "people versus Parliament" general election as early as next month.

'And, you know, if they can't then we have to be ready, as this country is and will be, to come out with no-deal if we absolutely have to'.