Theresa May is to meet key figures from the European Union in crunch talks which have the future of a potential Brexit deal hinged upon them.
The Prime Minister is to meet Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk amid warnings from Brexiteers to avoid giving any more ground in the negotiations.
The gathering in Brussels marks a deadline for May to bring an improved offer to the European Union on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal.
Without this, Tusk – the president of the European Commission, has made clear he will be unable to recommend to the leaders of the EU 27 that they progress the talks onto trade.
Downing Street has tried to play down the significance of the talks, saying they are a “staging post” ahead of a full gathering of the EU later in December.
Tusk has made clear the talks can’t progress until Dublin is satisfied with a working arrangement in regards to the border with Northern Ireland.