After hours of personal discussions in Brussels, the two sides said Wednesday evening that they were still far apart on key issues and a decision on the future of the talks would be made by the end of this week.
The last attempt to push the talks forward began on Wednesday with a meeting and continued over dinner.
Von der Leyen said in a statement after the meeting that negotiators would immediately resume work. She said, “We had a lively and interesting discussion about the state of play across the list of outstanding issues. We gained a clear understanding of each other’s positions. Still far apart.” “We agreed that the teams should meet immediately to try to solve these basic issues,” he added.
A top 10-ranked source told CNN that “there are still very large gaps between the two sides and it is still unclear whether these gaps can be filled,” but the prime minister “does not want to leave any path to a potential deal without testing.”
Failure to reach a trade deal could be especially painful for the UK, which is already reeling from the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.