UK PM Boris Johnson's crucial Brexit meet with EU chief on Monday

Updated: Sep 14, 2019, 10:41 IST | Agencies |

Aiming to get a deal done ahead of the Oct 31 deadline, Johnson said 'there is a rough shape of a deal to be done' and that he is 'cautiously optimistic'

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

London: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday he was "cautiously optimistic" about striking a Brexit deal ahead of his first face-to-face talks with EU chiefs next week. Johnson is due to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Luxembourg on Monday. His upbeat tone on striking a divorce deal with the EU in time for Britain's scheduled October 31 departure date is in marked contrast with the mood music from Brussels. The British pound gained one per cent against the dollar in Friday trading on speculation that the two sides were edging closer to a compromise over the contentious Irish
border issue.

Johnson said the public deserved to know the latest in the Brexit talks, as he restated his insistence that Britain must leave the EU on October 31, with or without a withdrawal agreement. "We're working incredibly hard to get a deal," Johnson said during a visit to Rotherham in northern England. "There is the rough shape of a deal to be done."

On the talks with Juncker and Barnier — the first time Johnson will meet them since he came to power on July 24 — the PM added: "We'll see where we get. I am cautiously optimistic." "Whatever happens, we'll come out on October 31." EU spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said Juncker and Johnson would have a working lunch.

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