The pound sterling climbed against both the U.S. dollar and the euro on Wednesday, after the European Union’s top Brexit negotiator expressed optimism over the likelihood of a trade deal between the U.K. and EU.

As of 9:40 a.m. EDT, the pound was up about 0.92% versus the euro at 1.1047 and up 1.16% on the dollar at 1.3097.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s senior Brexit official told the European Parliament: “Despite the difficulties we’ve faced, an agreement is within reach if both sides are willing to work constructively, if both sides are willing to compromise and if we are able to make progress in the next few days on the basis of legal texts. ..."

However, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson – whose government last week claimed that talks with Brussels were “over” – remains adamant that Britain will not compromise over various trade-related issues. On Sunday, Michael Gove, a minister for the cabinet office, told Sky News that he estimated the odds of a trade deal were below 50%.

Among the many disagreements between London and Brussels are questions over the EU’s access to the U.K.’s fishing waters and refusals by Johnson to adhere to EU’s rules on providing state aid. As a member of the EU, the U.K. was prohibited from giving government money to local companies if such assistance “distorts or threatens to distort competition” by favoring certain firms over others in other countries.

In the event the U.K. and EU cannot reach a trade deal, come Jan. 1, 2021, the trading relationship between Britain and the continent will revert to terms of the World Trade Organization – meaning an array of tariffs and quotas.

Still, as of now EU officials signaled they want to return to the negotiating table.

“We will seek the necessary compromises on both sides in order to do our utmost to reach an agreement and we will do so up until the very last day that it is possible to so do,” Barnier said Wednesday.

Barnier even admitted in his speech to the European Parliament that British sovereignty was “a legitimate concern,” In response, U.K. Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi told Bloomberg that Barnier’s statement was “incredibly positive.”

Britain's chief Brexit negotiator, Lord David Frost, is expected have further talks with Barnier on Wednesday.

“We note with interest that the EU’s negotiator, speaking to the European parliament this morning, has commented in a significant way on the issues behind the current difficulties in our talks,” said a U.K. government spokesman. “We are studying carefully what was said.”

Other European officials are also urging Johnson to restart trade talks – while criticizing his intransigence.

Theresa Reintke, a German Member of European Parliament, accused Johnson of dishonesty and said that he should "stop blaming others” for his own actions.

"Boris Johnson has been lying to the people in the U.K.,” Reintke said. "First, Brexit is a mess, second, finding a solution to this mess is not going to be easy for a either side but thirdly, and I think this is important, there might not be a good outcome to this but there are many different levels to how difficult this can become. So, prime minister, stop blaming others for your own actions. Take responsibility and come back to the negotiation table."