The U.K. and EU are aiming to agree on a Brexit divorce deal within three weeks and are preparing to thresh out issues such as Britain's financial settlement and the Irish border amid an impasse in the negotiations, the (London) Financial Times reported.
According to the report, senior EU diplomats believe the chances of achieving "sufficient progress" in the negotiations at an EU summit Dec. 14-15 have increased, but they warned that political miscalculations could disrupt that timetable.
Negotiators are targeting the week of Dec. 4 as a critical period, the report also said, as moves by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on a Brexit settlement or a "divorce bill" are producing momentum. May is due to have dinner with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on that date, and a formal U.K. offer is expected to be submitted, according to some diplomats.
There will be no official negotiating rounds but technical discussions are happening regularly "below the radar," the report said.
Reuters reported earlier on Tuesday that the U.K. will only detail its Brexit settlement when EU negotiators commit to move the talks into the next phase, which is the discussion of future EU-U.K. ties.
"We are ready to move onto phase two, to see those talks about a deep and special partnership with the EU for the future, a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU," May was quoted as saying in the report.
An EU diplomat also told Reuters that they were "ready to present the exit bill in a way that would make it easier for the Brits to sell at home."