It was an ignominious end to a day that started with Johnson expressing hope for a deal. The U.K. is due to leave the EU at the end of October, and Johnson has said he is determined to leave the bloc by then, even if that means doing so with no divorce agreement in place.

Undeterred by Monday’s setbacks, Johnson said he is still “cautiously optimistic” agreement can be reached.

‘Take Some Work’

“The big picture is that the commission would like to do a deal,” Johnson told the BBC in an interview after the talks. The EU president is “highly intelligent” and wants a deal, the premier said. “But clearly it’s going to take some work.”

Juncker’s team said the U.K. has still not presented any proposals and it’s their “responsibility to come forward with legally operational solutions” to allow the free flow of goods between the Republic of Ireland, which is in the bloc, and Northern Ireland, which is in the U.K.

Johnson said he is offering alternative arrangements for the Irish border, the main sticking point in talks with the bloc, though refused to give specifics. “There’s a limit to how much the details benefit from publicity before we’ve actually done the deal,” he told the BBC.

‘Obey the Law’

While the atmosphere around the table was friendly, a breakthrough was no closer to being reached, one EU official said.

With patience running out in Europe, and his room to compromise strictly limited, Johnson is doubling down on his plan to take the U.K. out of the bloc with no deal at all on Oct. 31, setting up a further showdown with the courts after this week’s proceedings.

The prime minister’s officials have indicated he will defy a new law designed to force him to seek a delay to Brexit rather than allow a no-deal split next month. Instead, they are preparing to go to court to “test” the new legislation.