UK PM Johnson: Progress in next few days key to Brexit deal chances

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. [Reuters]
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday the next few days would be key to his chances of securing a Brexit deal, and that an agreement with the European Union was still his aim and still possible.

With less than seven weeks remaining until Britain is due to leave the European Union, Johnson has yet to strike a deal with Brussels to manage the unprecedented separation between the world’s fifth largest economy and its biggest trading partner.

Johnson has pledged to leave the EU with or without a deal on Oct. 31, even though British lawmakers have passed a law which would force him to request a delay beyond that date if he is unable to reach a deal with the EU.

The British prime minister travels to Luxembourg on Monday to meet outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and has set his sights on winning a revised deal at an EU leaders’ summit on Oct. 17-18.

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“If we can make enough progress in the next few days, I intend to go to that crucial summit on Oct. 17, and finalize an agreement that will protect the interests of business and citizens on both sides of the (English) Channel, and on both sides of the border in Ireland,” Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“I believe passionately that we can do it, and I believe that such an agreement is in the interests not just of the UK but also of our European friends.”

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British Prime Minister Boris JohnsonBrexit dealEuropean Union