No-deal Brexit avoided for now as EU agrees to extend talks

Boris Johnson and the president of the European Commission have agreed to ‘go the extra mile’ to continue negotiations for a post-Brexit trade deal.

Ursula von der Leyen said she and the British prime minister had a ‘constructive and useful’ crisis telephone call this morning after negotiations re-started in the Belgian capital.

The two leaders had agreed during a dinner meeting last week that Sunday marked the deadline for a ‘firm decision’ to be ‘taken about the future of the talks’.

Ms Von der Leyen told a press conference: ‘We discussed the major unsolved topics.

‘Our negotiation teams have been working day and night over the recent days and despite the exhaustion after almost one year of negotiations, and despite the fact that deadlines have been missed over and over, we both think that it is responsible at this point in time to go the extra mile.

‘We have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks and to see whether an agreement can be reached – even at this late stage. The negotiations continue here in Brussels.’