he EU finally indicated it was ready to start talks on a post-Brexit trade deal this evening.
After weeks of stalemate, the president of the European Council hinted at a breakthrough following talks with Theresa May.
Donald Tusk suggested it was ‘possible’ talks on trade could begin at a crunch summit of EU leaders in Brussels next month.
But he warned of a ‘huge challenge’ ahead – and set the Prime Minister a new deadline of ten days for progress on ‘all issues’ before trade negotiations start.
It comes after Mrs May secured agreement from her Cabinet this week to increase the Government’s offer on the Brexit ‘divorce bill’.
The EU had insisted talks on trade could not begin until its leaders were satisfied ‘sufficient progress’ had been made on this issue – as well as on citizens’ rights and the Northern Irish border.