The final terms that will see the UK leave the EU could be finalised in November and not October as originally scheduled.
David Lidington, the Cabinet Officer, has said the agreement would be manageable to both sides.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Lidington said:
“I was Europe minister for six years. I lived through enough emergency European council meetings to know that the European council can call additional meetings when it wants to,” said Lidington, who effectively serves as Theresa May’s deputy.
He added that both sides wanted an agreement “as quickly as possible … but if it slips beyond October into November, I think that is manageable.”
Lidington told Today he noted what Barnier said “with interest” and that scheduling an emergency European council meeting for November, to allow EU leaders to clinch the deal then, would be straightforward.
The UK will leave the EU in March 2019.