Saturday could be the most important day in Brexit since the UK’s formal exit from the EU at the end of January.
Significant gaps remain between the two sides in the negotiation over a post-Brexit trade deal.
There is now a “pause” and the entire process is being passed up to the two principals, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, to discuss in a telephone call on Saturday afternoon.
This could unlock the negotiation. It could also end it.
It is impossible to say which outcome it will be.
For days, the EU and the UK sides have been saying that the talks would always end in calls between Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen, so in one sense the announcement should not be a surprise.
The EU is also more than aware of the need for Britain to have a choreographed win against them in the event of a deal.
Intriguingly, 36 hours ago, before the current impasse, both sides had been saying there were visible paths through some of the most intractable issues.
That doesn’t mean Friday’s dispute isn’t serious and tensions real.
The current turmoil seems to have come after the UK suggested that on Thursday the EU suddenly returned to an old demand to stay aligned to some EU rules after 1 January, even if they change – a demand which would breach a key red line for the UK.
Some insiders in the UK government suggested on Friday that they are extremely pessimistic.
Brexit was never going to end with a whimper.
Mr Johnson himself was always going to have to play a major part in the drama. In either direction, there was always going to be turbulence.
That endgame process has now begun, with just days to go to decide the outcome.