Brexit talks are set to restart on Wednesday after both parties hit pause when the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier tested positive for coronavirus a month ago.
The discussions between EU chief negotiator Barnier and his UK counterpart David Frost are set to resume via video conference, as both sides seek to pick up where they left off after the covid-19 crisis overshadowed talks earlier in the year.
The goal of the meeting, according to the FT, will be to fix dates for rounds of future virtual negotiations, with three rounds having supposed to have already been concluded.
Despite the end of the Brexit transition period looming on 31 December and plenty of other pressing issues to occupy both sides, the FT said the call would not address the possibility of an extension of this date. Meanwhile, the BBC said Downing Street would refuse to budge on the self-imposed end-of-year deadline.
Amid speculation last month the deadline would be extended, negotiators from both sides said the talks could not go ahead as planned.
In a joint statement they said: "Given the latest covid-19 developments, UK and EU negotiators have today jointly decided not to hold next week's round of negotiations in London, in the form originally scheduled," they said in a statement.
They added that "Both sides are currently exploring alternative ways to continue discussions, including if possible the use of video conferences." The EU has since adopted the Zoom video-conferencing app as its platform for holding meetings during the crisis.