Brexit negotiations will likely drag into December as key divisions on the Irish border continue.
Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, had previously set November 21st as the date for a deal but EU ministers have dismissed the chances of a breakthrough this month.
Speaking with reporters in Brussels, Belgian Foreign Minister, Didier Reynders, said: “we are waiting for new news from London
“We have time, but not so much. For this month, it’s very difficult to make real progress, but before Christmas I’m hoping that it will be possible”
Theresa May has stated she will not accept any deal which excludes Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. Though, in a letter leaked to the Times May did not rule out the idea of Northern Ireland continuing to align with some single market rules if a backstop is activated.
DUP leader Arlene Foster reacted angrily and in response tweeted:
“The PM’s letter raises alarm bells for those who value the integrity of our precious union & for those who want a proper Brexit for the whole UK. From her letter, it appears the PM is wedded to the idea of a border down the Irish Sea with NI.”
A potential compromise would involve a UK-wide customs union until a free trade deal can be reached agreed.
Speaking to journalists as he arrived in Brussels for further talks, Brexit minister, Martin Callanan, said: “We’re working hard for a deal. There are a number of important issues we still have to get bottomed out.
“But we can’t rush it. We have to get the right deal. This is an agreement that will endure for many years.”
There are EU summits scheduled for the 13th and 14th of December which would leave little time for a parliamentary vote before the Christmas leave.