Dominic Raab hints Brexit talks will continue after United Kingdom no deal deadline

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that his preference is for a deal

Brexit: On eve of UK deadline, trade talks with European Union stall

Knowing the chances of a deal are slimmer by the day, they also urged all in the European Union to "step up their work on preparedness and readiness at all levels and for all outcomes, including that of no agreement".

Downing Street said the UK's chief negotiator Lord Frost had updated Mr Johnson on the "state of play" of the negotiations with his European Union counterpart, Michel Barnier.

Lord Frost branded the response "unusual" in a statement released later.

"The prime minister said that he looked forward to hearing the outcome of the European Council and would reflect before setting out the UK's next steps", the spokesman said. He said he was surprised by the suggestion that, to get an agreement, all future moves must come from the UK.

An EU official told EURACTIV that leaders had offered "total support for Barnier and his negotiation approach" adding that "solidarity and unity prevail".

"Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out United Kingdom reactions and approach tomorrow in the light of his statement of September 7".

This comes as Johnson is set to discuss the progress of negotiations with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday via teleconference.

However, there is scepticism in Brussels that he would be prepared to pull the plug on the negotiations.

During the call, the prime minister "noted the desirability of a deal" but "expressed his disappointment that more progress had not been made over the past two weeks", a Downing Street spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Mr Michel told a press conference that Brussels would decide in the coming days, based on the UK's next proposals, whether it should continue with trade talks. Key issues include, in particular, the level playing field, fisheries and governance'.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte echoed the words of his German counterpart, saying that Italy was willing to work to the very last minute to get a trade deal done, but added, "we need a fair deal", and would not finalise an agreement "at any cost".

Rumours from inside the EU European diplomats said Brussels was ready for a deal, but not at any price, and would be looking for a sign from Johnson that he was serious about compromise.

With negotiating teams ready to continue to seek a deal which could still come into effect when a Brexit divorce transition period ends on January 1, all eyes turned to London where Johnson was bound to announce his next move on Friday.

"If conditions aren't met, it's possible we won't have an agreement", French President Emmanuel Macron said as he arrived at the summit in Brussels.

Mr Raab, a former Brexit Secretary, said the Government was "surprised by the attitude and the disposition" of the leaders.

"I hope that by the start of November that we will be in the space of a deal in sight".

Irish premier Micheal Martin also emphasised the importance of securing a satisfactory agreement on fishing if there was to be an overall trade deal.

In a surprising twist, as the summit got underway she was forced to leave the venue and self-isolate after a member of her office tested positive for coronavirus.

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