British parliament reconvenes, setting the stage for further attempts by lawmakers to ensure the October 31 deadline for withdrawal is extended, regardless of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's promise that the United Kingdom will leave on that date, deal or no deal.
After EU officials said Johnson indicated he was prepared to make sufficient concessions to allow detailed talks to begin, teams from both sides started work Saturday to explore whether they can arrive at the basis of an accord ahead of a summit of EU leaders that begins Thursday. Whether such a fudge suits both Brussels and the more ardent Brexit backers in parliament who must still approve a deal should become clearer by the end of the week.
However Mr Johnson has no majority within the Commons and it's questionable how a lot, if any, of the proposed laws ministers can get by means of Parliament earlier than a basic election.
"Expect him just to say that talks will need to go on", one European Union diplomat said, adding that another update for the national envoys will come at a ministerial meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday, just two days before the make-or-break summit.
Ms McEntee said the Government does not know yet the detail of what is being discussed and any proposals must evolve and be developed to meet agreement with all the European Union ambassadors.
Mr Juncker told the Austrian newspaper the Kurier on Sunday: "It's up to the Brits to decide if they will ask for an extension. A lot of work remains to be done", it warned.
Extension options range from as short as an extra month to half a year or longer and the other European Union states would need to agree unanimously to grant it.
If the stalemate is not broken at this point, a law recently passed by the parliament dictates that London must ask the European Union to extend the October 31 deadline to January 31 - a period in which a national election may be held to try to break the Brexit deadlock.
A spokesman at Johnson's office declined to comment.
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said the Government trusts Britain in its quest to reach an agreement to avoid no deal.
The sides fear that controls on the 500-km (300-mile) border with Northern Ireland would undermine the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which ended three decades of sectarian and political conflict that killed more than 3,600 people.
October 19 - The British parliament will hold a special Saturday sitting to decide what to do - or to vote on a deal.
That leaves Johnson's hopes pinned to a group of Labour rebels and the small party which notionally keeps him in power, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.
Pressed on the DUP's Westminster leader Nigel Dodds speaking out against rumours of the details of the Prime Minister's plan on social media, Mr Rees-Mogg said: "The Prime Minister is Minister of the Union and is deeply and personally committed to ensuring the union is robust and prosperous".