At the 11th hour the Prime Minister announced that talks that have been deadlocked for weeks would continue, having previously suggested that today was a hard deadline for progress to be made.
But after speaking to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today (Sunday 13 December) he agreed they would go into next week – leaving both sides just a fortnight to find a way to break the impasse over fishing and trade dispute resolution.
The Prime Minister warned there were still “major unresolved topics” but vowed to go the “extra mile” to find a deal as it emerged his chief negotiator Lord Frost was closing in on an agreement. Lord Frost has a few more days to establish whether an agreement can be reached.
In a joint statement Prime Minister Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We had a useful phone call this morning. We discussed the major unresolved topics.
“Our negotiating teams have been working day and night over recent days.
“And despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations, despite the fact that deadlines have been missed over and over we think it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile.
“We have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks and to see whether an agreement can even at this late stage be reached.”
Photo credit: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street