Germany’s foreign minister has said that negotiations over a Brexit trade deal may continue beyond the promised deadline of Sunday, claiming that talks should persist for as long as there is a chance an agreement can be reached.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters on Friday that delaying the deadline by a few extra days might be enough to get a trade deal done.

“In the end, the talks will not fail because a few days more are needed,” Maas said, asserting that negotiations should continue as long as “the window is ajar.”

Speaking before a meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, Maas added that an agreement is in sight, but it will be difficult to secure. 

Maas’s optimism was echoed by Coveney, who spoke about the need to respect Britain’s desire for sovereignty and independence, adding that a compromise needed to be found on the controversial subject of fisheries. 

Following a dinner meeting on Wednesday evening between UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, it was decided that a post-Brexit agreement must be reached by Sunday. 

Since the meeting, the PM has struck an increasingly pessimistic tone. Speaking earlier on Friday, Johnson claimed a no-deal Brexit was “very, very likely” and said, if the EU intended to make a “big offer,” he was yet to see it.

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