What's the latest on the UK-EU Brexit deal talks?

Laura Kuenssberg
Political editor
@bbclaurakon Twitter

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Image source, AFP/Getty

Budgets are important of course.

But on Monday afternoon, a cabinet minister joked to me: "We'll all be talking about Brexit again in a week."

At the moment though, there might not be that much to talk about.

Of course the process hasn't completely stopped. The UK's chief negotiator, Olly Robbins, has been back and forwards to Brussels and the two sides are "exploring" the issues that aren't resolved yet and trying to figure out ways out to fix them.

But I'm told it is too early to know if and when the deal can actually be done.

There is nothing new about the arguments of course, or the obstacles to getting there. The Irish border is the main problem, but not the only one.

And as yet, I'm told there isn't a deal in reach that could be guaranteed to get through the UK cabinet, let alone then through Parliament.

Who keeps the cat?

As the prime minister says, most of the withdrawal agreement is agreed - 95%, she claimed. But the rump is the tricky bit.

If you look at it like a divorce between the EU and the UK, it's easy to agree much of it. No one would go to the wall over who gets the tired old plants. Most separating couples can probably find an accommodation over the cushions and the cookbooks.

But as one senior MP joked yesterday, you can't cut the cat in half.

The main expectation in government and in Brussels is that there will be a deal of some kind.

But ministers and officials can't just stare at the same problems, wishing they will change.

There was of course the makings of a deal on the table a couple of weeks ago, but, one source said, "we failed then" - it's not clear how they will succeed now.

The pressure of time is perhaps the only dimension that is going to change.

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