Theresa May to dine with Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker in hope of breaking Brexit deadlock before EC summit

Oliver Gill
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Theresa May Visits Renal Transplant Unit At Hospital In Liverpool
Theresa May will be accompanied by Brexit secretary David Davis (Source: Getty)

Prime Minister Theresa May heads to Brussels tomorrow to meet chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and EU Commission boss Jean-Claude Juncker, Downing Street confirmed last night.

May will be accompanied by Brexit secretary David Davis at a private dinner at the European Commission, with the pair keen to make headway on Brexit negotiations before Thursday’s European Council summit.

The summit comes after the latest round of Brexit talks ended in deadlock last week.

Britain had hoped leaders of EU countries would press Brussels to show more flexibility during Brexit talks. Davis is keen for negotiations to move toward the nature of the UK's future relationship with the EU, yet Barnier insists sufficient progress has not been made with regards to the Irish border, citizens' rights, and a controversial multi-billion-euro exit bill.

Read more: A weakened Merkel leaves EU integration on the back-burner

Today, May held a telephone call with Angela Merkel during which she is believed to have urged the German Chancellor for her support in pushing talks forward.

Reports suggest Germany and France had last week pushed to harden a draft paper due to be circulated at Thursday’s summit to avoid giving the impression the EU will agree to transition period guidelines once “sufficient progress” has been made on European requirements such as the exit bill.

Berlin is understood to be concerned at the UK chipping away at due process in an attempt to obtain concessions.

A Number 10 spokesperson said today’s dinner has been “in the diary for some time” in the run-up to the Brussels summit.

Read more: Jean-Claude Juncker: Brexit process will take longer than the UK thinks

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