>> Expectations were high that a Brexit breakthrough was imminent, as Theresa May met EU heavyweights at a critical lunch meeting in Brussels. But the news, when it came, was about the EU and the UK failing to reach a deal.>> But on a couple of issues, some differences do remain.
>> It was not possible to reach a complete agreement today.>> No reason was given for what's caused the delay, but Reuter's Mark John says all signs point to May's political allies in Northern Ireland.>> All we know is looking at the timing of the way the events went today.
>> Midway through the Brussels brunch, an angry response from the leader of Northern Ireland's DUP party.>> Northern Ireland must leave the European Union on the same terms as the rest of the United Kingdom. And we will not accept any form of regulatory divergence.>> It seems to be significant that the DUP, even while this lunch was going on, came out with such a forceful statement.
So now, really, the race is on to try and establish what exactly was happening in that lunch which was so objectionable to the DUP. And whether that was the real reason that no deal came out of today's discussions.>> The question of what happens to the UK's border with Ireland is a fraught one.
Sources say May agreed to keep Northern Ireland aligned to EU regulations to avoid a physical border. A suggestion it could be allowed to stay in the single market. That news sparked cries of me too across the UK. The leaders of Scotland and London demanding they be allowed the same EU relationship as Northern Ireland.
May is trying to break the Brexit deadlock and move on to crucial trade talks ahead of a summit in December.>> This is not a failure.>> Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker insisting that Monday's out come is not a failure and that sufficient progress will be made in time.