British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is holding crisis talks over dinner in Brussels with the European Union’s chief executive.
“Allons-y,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said to Mr Johnson, using a French term for “let’s go” as they headed off for dinner in the star-shaped 1960s modernist Berlaymont building, headquarters of the EU’s executive on Wednesday (local time).
“Allons-y,” Mr Johnson said.
Before this brief exchange the two leaders greeted each other and took off their masks for photographs.
Both sides have cast the meeting as a chance to unlock the stalled trade talks but acknowledge there is a danger that there might be no trade deal in place when Britain finally leaves the EU’s orbit on December 31.
Earlier, Mr Johnson said his nation would prosper after Brexit, regardless of whether it was able to agree a trade deal with the EU.
Alongside a picture of him boarding a plane to Brussels for the talks with Ms von der Leyen, Mr Johnson tweeted:
“A good deal is still there to be done. But whether we agree trading arrangements resembling those of Australia or Canada, the United Kingdom will prosper mightily as an independent nation.”