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Sunday, 25 July 2021

UK PM says 'good chance' of Brexit deal but EU 'movement' needed

AFP , Monday 16 Sep 2019
Boris Johnson visits Luxembourg
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves after a meeting with Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in Luxembourg (Photo: REUTERS)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday said there was a "good chance" of striking a Brexit divorce deal with the EU, following talks with EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker and Luxembourg's premier Xavier Bettel.

Speaking after skipping a joint press conference with Bettel because of a noisy anti-Brexit demonstration nearby, Johnson said that any deal would "require movement" on the EU side.

Bettel decided to attend the press conference anyway but Johnson told Sky News: "I think there was clearly going to be a lot of noise and I think our points might have been drowned out."

Asked about the possibility of a deal, he said: "Yes, there is a good chance of a deal, yes I can see the shape of it. Everyone can see roughly what could be done.

"But it will require movement and it will require the system by which the EU can control the UK after we leave, the so-called backstop, to go," he added.

"If we can get that done, we're at the races," he said.

The backstop provision, which would keep Britain in a customs union with the EU until a post-Brexit trade agreement is struck, is at the centre of the standoff between Johnson and EU leaders.

"I think we've got just the right amount of time to do a deal between now and the 17th-18th of October," he said, referring to the next EU summit.

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