The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are set to meet this afternoon in an attempt to inject fresh momentum into the UK-EU Brexit talks which, until now, have not seen major progress made. 

The meeting between the two bosses is expected to see the Prime Minister repeat his desire for a trade deal with the EU, but make it clear that the UK is prepared to revert to trading on WTO terms under a no-deal exit, if no trade agreement is concluded in time. The EU is also purportedly preparing itself for a no-deal Brexit.

This follows the formal announcement last week that the UK will not be seeking an extension to the Brexit Transition Period, set to end on 31 December 2020. 

Any trade deal with the EU would need to be concluded in the coming months, certainly by November, in order for it to be properly ratified ahead of 1 January 2021. The problem is that, until now, key hurdles suck as fisheries and competition rules, as well as practical difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, have resulted in very little progress. 

Let's see what this afternoon's video call brings...