Despite having only days to bridge wide divisions over Brexit, the European Union maintained a semblance of hope Wednesday that the acrimonious fight over Britain's departure from the bloc could somehow still be settled amicably.
Britain is due to leave the 28-nation bloc on October 31.
"Following their discussions, the Taoiseach will consult with the EU Task Force and the UK Brexit Secretary will meet Michel Barnier tomorrow morning".
"Personally, I don't exclude a deal".
Remain MPs reportedly are considering forcing through a second referendum at an emergency sitting next Saturday - the first weekend session in the house since the Argentine invasion of the Falklands nearly four decades ago - by hijacking an nearly certainly doomed Government bill seeking authorisation for a No Deal Brexit.
Johnson sent a proposal to the European Union earlier in October, claiming the only alternative is a no-deal exit as the Oct. 31 deadline for an agreement closes in. "Now it's time for the European Union to do the same", Barclay stated.
"We are talking about the credibility of the internal market here", Barnier also said.
"If Ireland's real objective here is to keep Britain in the single market or keep Northern Ireland in the single market or reverse Brexit, then we're not going to find a solution, and that will be when we have the real risk to peace", he warned.
The pound had jumped more than 0.5 per cent against the USA dollar after The Times newspaper published its report, but the chief whip of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party said it would oppose any such concession, sending sterling back down to US$1.2210, flat on the day.
"The proposal of the British government as things stand is not something we can accept", he said.
The last official move we knew is that when asked to sign a letter officially asking Brussels for an extension, thus making the Benn Law effective, a Scottish court chose to delay this move until after the European Union Summit, claiming that it couldn't reach an official decision until after the political debate has "played out".
"The reason the prime minister is meeting Leo Varadkar is not simply just to have a social conversation", Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng told BBC radio.
Downing Street has said that Thursday's meeting was to allow "detailed discussions" on the process of securing a deal.
But Johnson also insists the United Kingdom will leave the United Kingdom on October 31, come what may.
And Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's Brexit coordinator, weighed in saying Britain's proposals were "not serious" and were aimed at starting a "blame game".
Anti-Brexit activists fear Johnson will try to wriggle out of that requirement, and asked Scotland's highest court to order the government to comply.
"That creates huge difficulties for us because we want there to be a deal that respects the wishes of the people of Northern Ireland, and indeed the people in this Republic too".