On the eve of a make-or-break meeting for Prime Minister David Cameron's EU reform agenda, European Council President Donald Tusk has warned that "there is still no guarantee" EU leaders will sign off on a final deal this week.
"After my consultations in the last hours I have to state frankly: there is still no guarantee that we will reach an agreement," Tusk wrote in a letter tonight inviting EU leaders to a two-day European Council meeting starting tomorrow afternoon. "We differ on some political issues and I am fully aware that it will be difficult to overcome them.
Tusk urged the EU leaders to be "constructive" going into tomorrow's meeting.
"There will not be a better time for a compromise," Tusk added. "It is our unity that gives us strength and we must not lose this. It would be a defeat both for the UK and the European Union, but a geopolitical victory for those who seek to divide us."
Tusk also confirmed tonight that the soonest he expects leaders to sign off on a deal is Friday, saying in the letter that leaders will "address the UK issue" in a working session tomorrow afternoon, but more work is expected to be completed overnight.
"We will address the UK issue at our first working session on Thursday afternoon. This will be an opportunity for all members to state their positions and voice their concerns," Tusk said, adding, "Given that we are talking about a legally binding agreement, we will need time to assess all the necessary changes overnight and revert to the issue on Friday morning."