According to reports, Brexit talks between Britain and the European Union are on the brink of collapse with both sides accusing each other of intransigence and sabotage.
With the October end deadline looming, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel as he tried to negotiate new divorce terms ahead of next week's pivotal EU summit in Brussels.
Following the conversation, and in an unusual move, Downing Street provided a readout of what Merkel reportedly said, provoking an angry tweet from EU Council President Donald Tusk.
According to the Downing Street official, Merkel demanded a rewrite of Britain's approach to the contentious Irish border problem that made a compromise "essentially impossible".
Merkel was quoted as saying that a deal now looked "overwhelmingly unlikely", and added that the Brexit talks were "close to breaking down".
Merkel's office has said that it would not comment "on such confidential discussions".
However, Tusk tweeted that Britain was playing with "the future of Europe and the UK" with no clear plan of what the country wanted.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney too said that he found it "hard to disagree" with Tusk, with reports indicating that Dublin is unwilling to strike a deal with the UK.
Meanwhile, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that "efforts continue" to reach a Brexit deal with Britain.