British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet European Union chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker before dawn in Brussels on Friday as the two sides seek to clinch a deal to open talks on post-Brexit trade.
May will meet the European Commission president at 0600 GMT, with a news conference to follow half an hour to an hour later, the commission said.
May's Downing Street office said she would travel with Brexit Secretary David Davis and also meet EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
"The prime minister is travelling to Brussels for further meetings on the Brexit negotiations," a Downing Street spokeswoman said.
EU and Irish officials had said earlier that Britain and Ireland could be hours from agreement on a text outlining how they would run their post-Brexit land border on the island of Ireland, paving the way for a deal that would remove the last obstacle to opening free-trade talks with the European Union.
A carefully choreographed attempt to showcase the progress of Brexit talks collapsed at the last minute on Monday when the Northern Irish party that props up May's government vetoed a draft deal already agreed with the government in Dublin.
Since then, May has been scrambling to clinch a deal on the new U.K.-EU land border in Ireland that is acceptable to the European Union, Dublin, her own lawmakers and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which keeps her government in power.
DUP leader Arlene Foster negotiated through the early hours with May, a DUP source told Reuters. Foster would make a statement later on Friday, the source said.\