British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen released a joint statement Sunday agreeing to extend Brexit talks.
“We had a useful phone call this morning,” the statement said. “We discussed the major unresolved topics.”
“Our negotiating teams have been working day and night over recent days,” it continued. “And despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations, despite the fact that deadlines have been missed over and over we think it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile.”
“We have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks and to see whether an agreement can even at this late stage be reached,” it added.
Johnson called his Cabinet ministers to a meeting to update them.
He had previously said Sunday was the final deadline for a trade agreement to be reached with the EU, with speculation mounting that the process would end in a no-deal Brexit.
No new deadline has been set, but the UK’s transition period out of the EU ends on Dec. 31 this year, which is only 18 days away.
By Karim El-Bar in London