EU, UK give each other until Sunday to save Brexit talks

11 December, 2020 12:00 AM printer

BRUSSELS: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave themselves until Sunday to decide on the future of post-Brexit negotiations, after a three-hour dinner left the two sides “far apart”, reports AFP.

Johnson came to Brussels on Wednesday in a last gasp effort to salvage trade talks that are teetering towards failure and the two leaders agreed that their negotiators should attempt one last push to bridge the divide.

“We had a lively and interesting discussion on the state of play across the list of outstanding issues,” Von der Leyen said in a statement after the dinner at her Brussels’ headquarters.

“We gained a clear understanding of each other’s positions. They remain far apart,” she added.

A senior UK source said the talks were “frank” and that it remained unclear whether the “very large gaps” between the two sides can be bridged.

The leaders agreed to further discussions by their negotiating teams “over the next few days” and that a “firm decision” should be taken by Sunday, the UK source said.