27 heads of state and government will meet this evening

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will meet the British Prime Minister for a bilateral meeting ahead of tonight's key EU summit in Brussels.

There's little hope a deal on the border with Northern Ireland will be reached to move talks forward.

The future is still unclear for Brexit - particularly over the border with Northern Ireland.

But this morning an olive branch from the EU.

Chief negotiator Michel Barnier says the option may be there to extend the transition period for the UK to leave the EU by a year.

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in London | Image: Henry Nicholls/PA Wire/PA Images

It's hoped that would give more time to reach a trade deal, meaning a backstop to avoid a hard border wouldn't be needed.

But it doesn't fix all the issues - including whether or not there's a fixed end point to the backstop.

Those disagreements are unlikely to be fixed before the EU leaders meet for a working dinner this evening.

 

EU Council President Donald Tusk has said  there needs to be creativity from Mrs May when she addresses EU leaders tonight.

"The problem is clear: it's still the Irish question.

"It looks like a new version of the Gordian Knot. Unfortunately, I can not see a new version of Alexander the Great, it's not so easy to find such kind of creative leader."