British PM to meet EU leader over Brexit

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London, Sep 13 (IANS) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday to discuss how Britain leaves the European Union, Downing Street announced on Friday.

“The Prime Minister will be travelling to Luxembourg at lunchtime on Monday to hold talks with President Juncker on Brexit,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

It will be the first meeting between the Prime Minister and Juncker, the outgoing European Commission chief, since Johnson took office in July. No breakthrough is expected from the upcoming meeting, according to media reports.

The spokeswoman said that Johnson will later meet Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

The Luxembourg trip is Johnson’s latest attempt to meet key European leaders, including the ones from Germany, France and outgoing European Council President Donald Tusk.

The meeting is part of a continuing effort by the British government to seek a Brexit deal before the Halloween deadline, the spokeswoman said. “We are working hard to get a deal and having discussions about a deal, but there is a long way to go.”

Johnson repeatedly said that he will take his country out of the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, and he will not ask Brussels for “another pointless delay” of Brexit.

Brexit has been delayed twice already because of UK lawmakers’ refusal to ratify the agreement, reached by the EU and Theresa May when she was the Prime Minister.

–IANS

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