Boris Johnson has reportedly been given just 12 days to present the European Union with a viable Brexit deal or prepare for a No Deal Brexit.
The Prime Minister has been given until September 30 to submit an alternative to the Irish border backstop in writing to Brussels.
The ultimatum was hammered out at a meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Finnish PM Antti Rinne in Paris today, reports in Finland claim.
Mr Macron has long been concerned about the time Brexit is taking and has previously spoken against any more extensions.
Mr Rinne, whose country holds the EU council presidency, is reported to have told reporters after the Paris meeting: ‘We are both concerned about what is happening in Britain right now and the confusion that is going on from there to Europe.’
The ultimatum was hammered out at a meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Finnish PM Antti Rinne in Paris today, reports in Finland claim
Mr Juncker (pictured today) said his lunch with Boris Johnson in Luxembourg this week had been ‘friendly’, but he warned he could not ‘look you in the eye and tell you progress has been achieved’.
It also falls in the middle of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, providing an additional headache for Mr Johnson.
What happens next in the Brexit crisis?
Here is how the coming weeks could pan out:
Today: Supreme Court continues to hear the case on whether the prorogation of Parliament was illegal.
September 21-25: Labour conference in Brighton, PM at UN summit in New York.
September 29-October 2: Tory conference takes place in Manchester, with Mr Johnson giving his first keynote speech as leader on the final day. This will be a crucial way pointer on how Brexit talks are going.
September 30: Alternative backstop proposal deadline
October 14: Unless it has already been recalled following the court battle, Parliament is due to return with the Queen’s Speech – the day before Mr Johnson had hoped to hold a snap election.
October 17-18: A crunch EU summit in Brussels, where Mr Johnson has vowed he will try to get a Brexit deal despite Remainers ‘wrecking’ his negotiating position.
October 19: If there is no Brexit deal by this date Remainer legislation obliges the PM to beg the EU for an extension to avoid No Deal.
October 21: Decisive votes on the Queen’s Speech, which could pave the way for a confidence vote.
October 31: The current deadline for the UK to leave the EU.
November/December: An election looks inevitable, but Labour is hinting it might push the date back towards Christmas to humiliate the PM.
It came after Jean-Claude Juncker had earlier trolled Boris Johnson over the bitter row over suspending the Commons – saying the European Parliament is ‘open and in action’.
The EU commission chief delivered the jibe as he gave a speech to MEPs in Strasbourg updating them on the Brexit process.
Mr Juncker said his lunch with Boris Johnson in Luxembourg this week had been ‘friendly’, but he warned he could not ‘look you in the eye and tell you progress has been achieved’.
Again warning against the harmful consequences of a no-deal Brexit, EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said during the debate he wants to keep working ‘night and day’ in order to find a satisfying deal for both parties and urged Johnson and his team to make concrete proposals.
Mr Juncker told MEPs: ‘I said to Prime Minister Johnson that I have no emotional attachment to the safety net, to the backstop, but I stated that I stand by the objectives that it is designed to achieve.
‘That is why I called on the Prime Minister to come forward with operational proposals, in writing, for practical steps which would allow us to achieve those objectives.
‘Until such time as those proposals have been presented, I will not be able to tell you, looking you straight in the eye, that any real progress has been achieved.’
He added: ‘Over the past years, the EU has shown great unity of purpose in the Brexit negotiations. Great solidarity with those Member States most affected.
‘Unity is our most precious resource and our greatest asset. It will continue to guide me over the next weeks.’
Mr Juncker said there was ‘very little time remaining’ to find a way through the impasse.
This evening Downing Street revealed Mr Juncker spoke to the Prime Minister after the address, where they ‘discussed the positive and constructive conversation they had in Luxembourg on Monday and their shared determination to reach a deal’.