Post-Brexit trade talks unlikely to be extended beyond Sunday – Raab

Post-Brexit trade deal talks are unlikely to be extended beyond Sunday without substantial movement from Brussels, the Foreign Secretary has said.

Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen held crunch talks over dinner in Brussels on Wednesday in a bid to break the deadlock, but both sides warned afterwards that “very large gaps” remain.

The pair agreed that a decision on the future of the negotiations will be taken by the end of the weekend.

Dominic Raab told the BBC on Thursday that, while he could not rule out a further extension in the talks process, it is important to have “finality”.

He said: “I think it’s unlikely but I can’t categorically exclude it.”

The Cabinet minister added that there has not been “enough pragmatism and flexibility on the EU side” and called for “substantial movement” from the bloc in order to seal a deal before the weekend is out.

Stephan Mayer, a state secretary at Germany’s Interior Ministry, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that a no-deal outcome would be the “worst solution for both sides”.