So who will blink first... us or the EU?
THAT Mrs May made little progress in the recent European ministerial meetings was not a surprise.
David Davies was correct when he said Michel Barnier was playing a waiting game.
So the period between now and the next meeting of European ministers in December will be a real test of nerve on the part of our British negotiators.
No weakness must be shown otherwise the demands by Europe will increase.
It is not just Messrs Barnier, Juncker and Tusk that have to realise that Britain also has a red line when it comes to hard cash, but additionally the other 27 nations who have the final say.
The likes of Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaite are already indicating the divorce payment must be a lot more than that indicated in May in her Florence speech.
There has to be a unanimous vote by the other member states to give approval to any settlement, so just one dissenting voice could scupper any deal that is somehow cobbled together.
There was the faint glimmer however, that some realisation is creeping into European thinking. After all, if the UK walked, made no divorce payment and adopted WTO rules, it would be Europe that would suffer most in terms of cash.
It is now absolutely essential that our Prime Minister must be resolute and stick by the offer she made in her Florence speech, an offer which does not seem to enjoy the support of some of her ministerial and party friends.
They think that already she has gone too far.
Theresa May must not show any sign of weakness whatsoever during the run up to the December meeting.
She and our Brexit team must out-stare the unelected European bureaucrats.
There must be no sign of the blinking of an eye by anybody, otherwise European demands will just escalate.
As matters stand now, I think that there is only a 50/50 chance of cutting a deal.
It is time for Britain’s negotiators to be resolute. Russell Luckock is chairman of Birmingham pressings
firm AE Harris