After weeks of pessimism, Brexit negotiators are suddenly feeling hopeful just a few days before the transitional period ends and the United Kingdom leaves the European Union for good.
Negotiations between Brussels and London appeared to be in the final phase Wednesday, The Associated Press and The Financial Times report. One anonymous EU source told AP, "I expect to see some white smoke tonight," while allies of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told FT a trade agreement could be "wrapped up within hours."
The two sides have primarily been stuck on issues revolving around fishing rights, but they've seemingly made progress as Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen took control of the negotiations.
Neither side is celebrating just yet, however. "We will need to get those final issues resolved, and there's some way further to go on that," said U.K. Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick, though he did admit he's optimistic. "Fingers crossed," one European diplomat told FT. Read more at The Financial Times and The Associated Press.