The hopes of doing a brexit deal at this summit long-gone, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s positive tone on arrival won’t have impressed many here in Brussels.
What we’ve seen is that we’ve solved most of the issues in the withdrawal agreement.
There is still the question of the Northern Irish backstop.
But I believe everybody around the table wants to get a deal.
By working intensively and closely we can achieve that deal.
I believe a deal is achievable. Now is the time to make it happen.
May spent less than half an hour addressing her fellow leaders on the status of exit talks before they went into dinner without her.
A further sign of the UK’s growing isolation within this block.
She presented them with no new ideas to break the current deadlock, so there wasn’t much to discuss.
EU leaders are running out of patience with Britain just as Britain is running out of time.
They called off a planned emergency summit in November, judging that insufficient progress has been made to expect a deal by then.
It looks that still we have a lot of discussions and not final approval of the stance, what the UK wants.
And it’s very difficult for European side to negotiate with the person who has no full support of the position.
They know she’s politically weak at home.
Theresa May has bowed to different factions in her government and Parliament, rejecting the EU’s plan for a backstop or insurance policy against a future hard border on the island of Ireland.
They insist it’s non-negotiable and there’s more and more talk about all of this ending in No Deal.
Disruptions at borders, tariffs on trade, British passport holders requiring visas and work permits on the continent.
There is one new idea doing the rounds the EU’s potential willingness to extend the so-called transition period after Britain leaves the EU,
allowing a full three years for trade talks to take place before that thorny issue of the backstop applies.
It might soften some opposition to the backstop.
Hardly imaginative thinking at this stage, but possibly all they’ve got.
The Prime Minister and others stressed that a deal is 90% done but on the problem of Ireland there’re still miles apart.