Donald Tusk hands Boris Johnson last-minute Brexit boost

Boris Johnson

Johnson said late Thursday there was a "pathway" to a belated agreement to stave off a chaotic, costly no-deal Brexit on October 31, while Varadkar said the meeting was "very positive".

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

The tepid positivity came after Mr Johnson and Mr Varadkar said they could "see a pathway" to a possible agreement following face-to-face discussions in the Wirral. After his "stock taking" breakfast with Barclay, Barnier will brief ambassadors from the other European Union members on the state of play.

On his way out, Mr Barnier told reporters they had held a "constructive meeting" and that he was going to meet with ambassadors of the EU27 and the European Parliament's Brexit steering group before planning the next move. "It's important now that our negotiators on both sides get into proper talks about how to sort this thing out".

"A no-deal Brexit will never be the choice of the EU", Tusk said.

Sterling climbed to the highest level in three months against the U.S. currency, briefly hitting $1.27, amid mounting optimism in the City, after the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said talks could progress to the next phase.

Mrs. Foster added: "In order to secure a sensible deal for everyone it is important that the European Union understand that to maximise the prospects of agreement there will need to be a clear acceptance that the economic and constitutional integrity of the whole of the United Kingdom will have to be respected as we leave".

But the details of Mr Johnson's concessions are not yet known.

After his meeting with Barclay, Barnier said it was essential to keep focus.

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The European Union said Friday that talks with the U.K.to find an amicable divorce deal were back on track, despite huge challenges and a looming end-of-month deadline for Britain to leave the bloc.

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. "There's many a slip between cup and lip", he warned.

The PM must return from the crucial summit of heads of government with a deal he can get past MPs by October 19 if he is not to face demands to comply with the Benn Act.

This would see him asking for a Brexit extension to the end of January, but he has said he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than request a delay.

"The DUP has always indicated that the United Kingdom must leave the European Union as one nation and in so doing that no barriers to trade are erected within the UK".

Whatever the outcome of the "tunnel" talks and next week's summit, United Kingdom lawmakers will be recalled on October 19, a Saturday, for an emergency parliamentary session.

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.

A DUP source said, however, it was not opposed to a post-Brexit customs partnership: "Provided it doesn't mean that Northern Ireland is excluded from being able to participate in new trade deals, we could be supportive".

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