While EU leaders stressed the unity of the 27-nation bloc in the face off, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will assess the summit's decision before deciding his next steps.
Speaking as he arrived for the discussions, Taoiseach Michael Martin acknowledged there were still key stumbling blocks that need to be addressed, with the need for a fair fisheries deal high on the agenda.
"As far as I can see they have abandoned the idea of a free trade deal".
Johnson held a video call on Wednesday to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel and "expressed his disappointment that more progress had not been made over the past two weeks", the Prime Minister's office said.
Australia has no comprehensive trade deal with the EU.
Britain formally left the EU on Jan 31, but the two sides are haggling over a deal that would govern trade in everything from vehicle parts and salmon, to Camembert and medicines when informal membership known as the transition period, with Britain still in the EU single market and customs union, ends Dec 31.
Mr Johnson said "now is the time for our businesses, hauliers and travellers to get ready", however he remained willing to do mini-deals on areas where progress had been made, including on social security coordination, or aviation, road haulage and nuclear cooperation.
Mr Johnson said in September that there "needs to be an agreement with our European friends by the time of the European Council on October 15 if it's going to be in force by the end of the year".
On competition, Mr Barnier said the European Union needed to know if any British divergence from European Union standards would be "reasonable", who would control that decision within the United Kingdom, and whether London would inform Europe in advance to let it prepare.
The EU has said any agreement will take about two months for legal ratification, translation into European languages and for approval from the European Parliament, making for an effective cutoff date of around November 1.
There was optimism from Ireland's foreign affairs minister who said he believed a deal could be done but it would take a couple of weeks as the two sides are now "miles apart" on the issue of fisheries.
Boris Johnson tonight told European Union leaders he was "disappointed" their Brexit talks had stalled and was mulling his "next steps" as his self-imposed no deal deadline looms.
"They want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is obviously unacceptable to an independent country", Johnson said.
"Surprised EU is no longer committed to working "intensively" to reach a future partnership", Frost said in a Tweet. This of course means that we too have to make compromises, " Merkel said, in conciliatory note.
"Under any circumstance, our fishermen should not be sacrificed for Brexit", he said.
Britain formally left the EU on January 31 this year, but a transition period, which ends on December 31, means it remains in the EU single market and customs union.