Johnson Confident of EU Brexit Deal, Works ‘Flat Out’ on Leaving
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “working flat out” to meet the Oct. 31 date to leave the European Union, and said he can finalize a withdrawal agreement during a summit meeting of leaders in Brussels two weeks before the deadline.
“I believe passionately that we can do it, and I believe that such an agreement is in the interests not just of the U.K. but also of our European friends,” Johnson wrote in a column for Monday’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
According to a senior U.K. official, Johnson has resolved on a hard-line plan as he prepares for his first face-to-face negotiations with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday.
The premier aims to hammer out a divorce deal with the EU and ratify it in Parliament before the exit deadline. He will tell Juncker that there is just one month remaining to finalize that agreement and he won’t seek a delay if the negotiations are fruitless.
In the column, he blasted his opponents in Parliament who passed legislation last week that would prevent the U.K. from leaving without a deal. Some lawmakers have urged the premier to seek a further delay in the exit date, which was already pushed back from March 31.
Johnson rejected those suggestions.
“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 Channel, and on both sides of the border in Ireland,” he said.
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