European Council President Donald Tusk said this morning that he had received “promising signals” from Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Brexit.
Tusk tweeted “The UK has still not come forward with a workable, realistic proposal. But I have received promising signals from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that a deal is possible. Even the slightest chance must be used. A no deal Brexit will never be the choice of the EU.”
Varadkar and Prime Minister Boris Johnson met yesterday near Liverpool to try and hammer out a way forward on Brexit, with both sides sounding optimistic notes in the aftermath.
Varadkar said he believes a deal is possible by 31 October, which sent sterling soaring 1.9 per cent to $1.244 last night.
Sterling dipped after Tusk’s tweet, before pushing up to $1.2539, and then falling slightly to $1.2524.
Speaking in Nicosia this morning, Tusk said: “Of course, there is no guarantee of success and the time is practically up. But even the slightest chance must be used.”
Tusk said he had previously told Johnson that unless a workable solution came from London by Friday 11 October, he would announce on Friday that a deal was all but impossible at the 17-18 October summit of all EU leaders.
Brexit talks are continuing today with Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay due to meet the EU’c chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
Read more: Boris rekindles hope of Brexit breakthrough
Johnson will need the approval of all EU leaders for any deal he manages to strike when the member states gather in Brussels on 17 and 18 October.
Otherwise parliament’s Benn Act would force the PM to seek a Brexit delay from the EU, pushing the UK’s departure date back to 31 January.