Boris Johnson was warned by Ireland’s foreign minister that the main outstanding issues in Brexit trade talks must be “resolved in principle this week”, with officials in London also confirming a crunch moment in the negotiations.
Simon Coveney said on Sunday this was “move week”, while British officials admitted that after months of phoney deadlines the talks on a future relationship agreement had reached a moment of truth. “We’ve got 10 more days, max,” said one UK official.
The sentiment was echoed on the EU side of the negotiations. “It is crunch time,” said one diplomat, noting upheaval in Downing Street as some of the UK prime minister’s top aides quit last week. “We will see whether Number 10 can put an end to its internal chaos, make up its mind and come up with a sensible approach.”
David Frost, Mr Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator, arrived in Brussels on Sunday saying that “some progress” on a trade agreement with the EU had been made in recent days but that substantial differences remained and a “no deal” outcome was still possible.
Lord Frost’s former Vote Leave allies in Downing Street, Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain, resigned from their positions advising Mr