Prime Minister Theresa May steps up attempts to court European support for a draft Brexit deal on Thursday as negotiations on securing a smooth British divorce from the world’s biggest trading bloc enter their final stages.
She will meet three other EU leaders in Brussels at a NATO dinner on Thursday and have lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday.
EU officials and diplomats tried to play down speculation on an imminent deal after an Austrian newspaper report that a deal could be reached “in the coming days” send the pound higher.
Some diplomats said they felt more optimistic than earlier in the week about seeing a deal completed this month. But one senior EU official told Reuters: “A deal is certainly not done. There’s a bit of progress on the backstop but we’ve no idea if it will fly in London. Both sides are still talking, which is good, but we haven’t been told that a deal is imminent.”