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Johnson ‘cautiously’ optimistic over Brexit talks

Published : Tuesday, 17 September, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 82

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (R) welcomes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) prior to their meeting, on September 16 in Luxembourg.	photo : AFP

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (R) welcomes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) prior to their meeting, on September 16 in Luxembourg. photo : AFP

LUXEMBOURG, Sept 16: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker for talks on Monday insisting a Brexit deal is possible, despite deep scepticism from European capitals with just six weeks to go before departure day.
The prime minister had a working lunch with Juncker in Luxembourg, the first time the two men have met since he took office in July. Johnson has said he is "cautiously" optimistic about progress in Brexit talks as he meets EU leaders. No 10 says he is not willing to delay Brexit beyond the 31 October deadline.
Asked as he arrived for the meal whether there was progress towards a deal, Juncker replied "we'll see".  And asked whether he was optimistic about the prospects for a breakthrough, Johnson replied that he was "cautious".
"There is still scepticism in Brussels that the UK is serious about getting an agreement," he writes. Last week MPs passed a law that would force the prime minister to ask the EU for an extension to the 31 October deadline if a deal was not agreed by 19 October.
But the prime minister's official spokesman said: "The position of the PM is that we comply with the law, but that we are leaving on 31 October whatever the                outcome."    -AFP









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