The pound weakened after British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed willingness to consider a longer transition period beyond 2020 for the U.K.'s exit from the European Union in March 2019, the Financial Times reported, citing an EU official.
EU leaders at a European Council summit in Brussels discussed the possibility of extending the transition period to 33 months from the current 21 months, according to Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament. Opponents of the idea argue that it would mean the U.K. will be bound by EU rules but without any representation or votes on its institutions until the end of 2021, the FT added.
Sterling traded 0.21% lower at just below $1.31 as 3:09 a.m. ET.
Earlier, EU leaders called off a special Brexit summit that had been planned for November, as negotiations remain deadlocked over the border dividing the Republic of Ireland and the U.K.'s Northern Ireland. "We need time, we need much more time, and we will continue to work in the next weeks calmly and patiently," the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier reportedly said.
Meanwhile, May reiterated that a deal was within reach and that "the last stage will need courage, trust and leadership on both sides."