The EU is demanding new “concrete proposals” from Theresa May on how to end the deadlock in Brexit talks, warning that a breakthrough may not be possible without further movement from the UK due to the issues over the Border. 
The call from European Council president Donald Tusk came as Mrs May urged her Cabinet to “stand together and stand firm” on Brexit, after negotiations stalled in the run-up to a crucial summit.
Mrs. May addressed the remaining 27 EU leaders yesterday (Wednesday) in Brussels at a meeting which had been billed as “the moment of truth” for Brexit. But late yesterday it seemed certain to pass without a deal on the UK’s withdrawal.
Speaking after being briefed by the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Mr. Tusk (pictured below) said he saw “no grounds for optimism” ahead of the European Council summit.
“As I see it, the only source of hope for a deal for now is the goodwill and determination on both sides,” Mr. Tusk told a Brussels press conference.
“However, for a breakthrough to take place, besides goodwill we need new facts.”
Mr. Tusk said he would ask Mrs. May whether she had concrete proposals on how to break the impasse saying that only such proposals can determine if a breakthrough is possible.
Reports from Brussels suggested senior European Commission officials were casting doubt on the prospect of a special Brexit summit being declared for November if there is no movement on the key issue of the Border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Mrs. May won strong support from Cabinet colleagues on Tuesday as she set out two key “sticking points” preventing the conclusion of a withdrawal agreement.
The issues relate to the “backstop” agreement demanded by the EU to avoid a hard Border by keeping Northern Ireland within the European customs area.
Mrs. May has countered by offering to keep the whole UK in a customs union, but only for a temporary period.
She issued a plea for unity as she said she remained determined to secure a Brexit that would respect the result of the 2016 referendum, protect jobs and security and preserve the Union.
“I’m convinced that if we as a Government stand together and stand firm, we can achieve this,” she said.
Mrs. May said the sticking points were that it would not be possible for her or any other UK Prime Minister to sign up to an agreement which created a customs Border down the Irish Sea, and that any agreement must ensure that the UK is not kept indefinitely in a backstop arrangement against its will.