U.K. Cabinet ministers expect to be locked in a room to study the latest options for a Brexit deal in strict secrecy on Tuesday as Theresa May redoubles efforts to get a deal this month, according to people familiar with the matter.
But a spokesman for Mrs May said no extra meeting has yet been scheduled ahead of the regular cabinet meeting in Downing Street next Tuesday.
"We are making good progress on the future relationship, and 95% of the withdrawal agreement has been settled".
He said he wouldn't predict the timing of a deal, but he pointed out that a Cabinet meeting could be called at any time.
At a Brussels summit in October, EU leaders ruled there was not enough progress in Brexit negotiations in order to call an emergency summit this month to finalise a deal.
The sides in the negotiations on the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union have signalled progress on agreeing customs arrangements for an emergency Irish border fix but differences persist on the lifespan of the backstop.
In a presentation to his colleagues on the backstop, Geoffrey Cox, the attorney general, said the compromise on the Northern Ireland border was a "major step" in removing the final major sticking point in the Brexit negotiations, sources said.
Both London and Brussels want to avoid the introduction of checks at the future external border of the European Union between its member state and Northern Ireland, fearing a renewed tension in this United Kingdom province, however, they haven't agreed so far on the way how to do it.
European Union leaders insist that for the "backstop" border guarantee to be effective it must be binding and can't be time-limited.
"A backstop with a three-month limit on it or expiry date of that nature isn't worth the paper it's written on and what the backstop the UK Government has signed up to is a legally operative backstop that will apply unless and until we have any agreement to supersede it", he continued.
The Prime Minister said any agreement will be dependent on an "acceptable" framework for future relations in areas like trade and security, expected to be covered in a separate political declaration.
"I'm open to creative solutions and creative language, but we will not resile from our fundamental resolution, the backstop can not have a time limit or an exit clause".
"We are being asked to choose between the break-up of the Union - at least for economic purposes - or the subjugation of the whole country", said the former foreign secretary. "What is missing is a solution for the issue of Ireland". Without an operational backstop there will not be an accord and there will not be a transition period.
The Downing Street spokesman said the cabinet "needs more time" to consider mechanisms to ensure Britain can not be bound to the EU.
"We think EUR/GBP could be embarking on a sustainable bear trend â largely on the back of the deteriorating EUR outlook", ING's head of FX strategy Chris Turner said in a client note.
"Such an outcome will have serious consequences for economy of Irish Republic".
"Anything that weakens or softens the Irish Government's position as to the baseline protections that we need is something to be avoided", she said.