As official talks come to a close in Brussels it is becoming clear David Cameron might well be in for a weekend with EU leaders.
What has become known as the Three-Shirt Summit has seen a deal been pushed back, but one may be reached over dinner, which is set to commence at 19:00 GMT.
Some are debating whether Cameron will actually emerge from these talks with a deal; could he walk away with nothing, some ask?
This, for me, appears highly unlikely.
It is in the EU’s best interests to strike a deal with Cameron; whether that be now, next week, or whenever, they must eventually make concessions.
In this sense, Cameron has the upper-hand.
If the EU leaders reject any form of a deal with the UK, that will not be the issue put to bed. Cameron made a pledge to hold a referendum on the UK’s membership by the end of 2017.
Because of this, failure to procure a satisfying deal will simply mean Cameron will need a lot more than three shirts to see him through negotiations. He will be forced to keep going back in an attempt to gain concessions.
But what if the EU rejects even these continued requests? What if it tells the UK “tough. We have bigger problems, like the economic position of the EU, the refugee crisis, and concerns over security.”
This cannot happen. It goes against what the EU stands for. If it shoves the UK out of any possible negotiations, it will jeopardise the faith of the pro-EU British electorate, possibly resulting in the UK jumping ship regardless.
It would be a dictatorial move by the EU, which puts it in a difficult position.
Cameron, some argue, would resign if a deal was not procured. Yet there is no timespan on this. When is the end the end? The answer to that may be January 2018, when the Conservatives may revolt against Cameron and see him out.
That situation is still (perhaps) two years away. For now, it appears likely Cameron will get what he wants.
If just simply to stop the UK Conservative Government from piling demands upon them so as to concentrate on the aforementioned “bigger” issues, the EU will have to make concessions.
If not, then it will damage the credibility of the EU as an institutions which still grants sovereignty to its 28 member states.
Better start ironing those shirts.
“It is worth ascending unexiting heights if for nothing else than to see the big ones from nearer their own level.” - Nan Shepherd
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