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European Council President Donald Tusk has said he has 'no optimism' that a Brexit deal will be reached ahead of the EU summit to be launched tonight in Brussels, Euronews reported.

Tusk said he will ask the UK's Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of the summit for "concrete proposals" on how to break the impasse that has hit negotiations.

Speaking last night, he said there is still "good will and determination" on both sides, but that Theresa May will need to bring "new facts" to the negotiating table.

The most recent talks - between the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier and UK Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab - broke down due to disagreement over the EU's proposed 'backstop' solution to the ongoing issue of the Irish border.

Under a backstop agreement, Northern Ireland would remain in the EU customs union after the UK leaves.

However, May has said she will never accept a customs border that would see Northern Ireland "carved off" from the UK’s internal market.

There is less than six months to go until the 29th of March 2019, when Britain is scheduled to exit the EU.


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