Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson still consider a "path to a possible deal" for Brexit possible. The two leaders published a statement after a lunch in north-west England, saying that they "agreed to continue thinking about their discussions and that officials would continue to pay close attention to them".

The joint statement, however, remained vague as to whether a breakthrough was in sight. "Both continue to believe that an agreement is in everyone's interest," the statement said.

Johnson wants Britain to leave the EU on October 31st. A regulated exit agreement has so far failed to address the issue of how the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will be handled.

On 17 and 18 October, an EU summit will take place. Until then, both sides want to have an agreement. If necessary, Johnson wants to resign without a deal, but Parliament has forbidden him to do so by law.