EU chief Ursula von der Leyen will hold video talks with Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday as they seek a breakthrough in post-Brexit trade negotiations.
The two leaders will meet online in the afternoon, von der Leyen’s spokesman Eric Mamer said on Twitter, for “stock-taking of negotiations and discussion of next steps.”
The meeting, also confirmed by London, will take place after the end of the last round of scheduled talks on forging future relations between Britain and the European Union.
EU and UK negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost are meeting in Brussels on Friday to close out the round of negotiations in which no major breakthrough is expected.
Brexit: Wealthy Britons step up citizenship shopping for visa-free access to EU
Trucks from UK could face two-day delays to enter Europe after Brexit, says Britain
Brexit trade row: Take your threats off the table, British PM Johnson tells EU
The von der Leyen-Johnson call also follows the launch of a legal proceeding by Brussels in response to the British government’s attempt to overturn parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
On Tuesday, British MPs backed a bill to regulate the UK’s internal market from January 1, when Britain completes its post-Brexit transition period and leaves the EU single market and customs union.
If Britain does not back down, the infringement procedure could go all the way to the European Court of Justice, which would be able to impose large fines.
Johnson has pushed on with the legislation -- despite concerns in his own party and a warning from Washington that it puts Irish peace at risk.
The row over the bill has not scuppered the trade talks, but dampened hopes that a deal can be reached in time for a planned EU summit on October 15.
- Brexit: Wealthy Britons step up citizenship shopping for visa-free access to EU
- Trucks from UK could face two-day delays to enter Europe after Brexit, says Britain
- EU chief negotiator Barnier “determined” to get Brexit deal
- Brexit deal ‘cannot be changed’ by law, says EU Chief
- Brexit trade row: Take your threats off the table, British PM Johnson tells EU
- EU warns UK that violation of Brexit deal will scuttle a new deal
- UK refuses to blink as EU orders London to scrap plan for Brexit treaty breach
- French FM Le Drian blames Brexit stalemate on UK, says deal is urgent