BORIS Johnson said today he was still "hopeful" of a Brexit deal being sealed but admitted the situation was "very difficult" and both teams were "a long way apart".
The PM will dash to Brussels this week for face-to-face talks with EU boss Ursula Von Der Leyen after both sides admitted a deal couldn't be reached at the moment.
The PM and EU chief held a tense phonecall last night - their second in 48 hours - where both sides admitted talks had reached "the end of the road".
They are expected to meet on either Wednesday or Thursday in person - ahead of an EU summit on Thursday which could rubber-stamp any agreement.
Asked whether he was hopeful of a Brexit deal, Boris Johnson told reporters at a London hospital on Tuesday: "I'm always hopeful... yes, I am very hopeful, but I've got to be honest with you I think the situation at the moment is very tricky."
He said the EU had to understand that the UK had left to "exercise democratic control over the way we do things".
He stressed: "We are a long way apart still.
"I will do my best to sort it out if we can.
But he promised that no matter what happened, there would be "great options ahead for our country" and people should know change is coming regardless of a deal.
He appeared to give another two days - until Wednesday as Michel Barnier has suggested - to try and get an agreement done.
Boris said: "We will see where we get to in the next two days- there are limits which no sensible independent country could go."
Boris Johnson ‘hopeful’ of Brexit deal but says ‘it’s looking very difficult’ on fish & teams ‘a long way apart’
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