Brexit talks will continue in Brussels today after discussions between the Prime Minister and Irish Taoiseach appeared to increase chances of a breakthrough in the current impasse.
Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar both declared they could “see a pathway” to a possible withdrawal agreement after a meeting yesterday described as “detailed and constructive”.
The two leaders said it was in “everybody's interest” to get an agreement which would allow the UK to leave with a deal.
The unexpectedly positive atmosphere following the meeting at a country manor led to speculation that compromises on the Northern Ireland border could be in the works.
Neither side could be drawn on whether “concessions” or “significant movement” had been made by the other.
Sterling rose sharply on international money markets in the wake of the negotiations.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay will now meet EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier for talks in Brussels.
The meeting is likely to give the clearest indication of whether there has been a significant thawing of relations between London and the EU after a week of abrupt exchanges.
Such a move could lead to the start of so-called intensive “tunnel” negotiations in the coming days ahead of the crunch EU summit on October 17 and 18.
However, if the Prime Minister does not return with a deal after the conference with EU heads of state, he will be legally bound to seek an extension past the current October 31 deadline.