European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has urged Boris Johnson to come up “concrete proposals” as to how he wants to achieve removing the Irish backstop.
Juncker and Johnson are due to talk on Tuesday and on Wednesday David Frost Johnson’s EU “Sherpa” will head for talks with Brussel officials.
European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said the call between them is a chance to “touch base” following the G7 summit.
She said, “More generally I think we have been saying that we stand ready to of course engage constructively with the UK on any concrete proposals that are compatible with the Withdrawal Agreement, so this is exactly in the spirit of constructiveness and engagement that the two will speak later in the afternoon.”
A Downing Street spokeswoman said the prime minister believes there is still enough time to achieve a new deal.
The spokeswoman said, “The Prime Minister has had good discussions with EU leaders both last week in France and in Germany, and at the weekend.
“There is a clear understanding now that the commitment to leave on 31 October is absolute but that the PM wants to do so with a deal.
“He has also been setting out very clearly the reasons why the backstop is unacceptable to us.
“What is clear is that if there is goodwill on both sides, and a determination to get things done, solutions to the backstop exist and the PM believes they should be discussed.”