Jean-Claude Juncker 'optimistic' as as he meets Boris Johnson for Brexit talks

Mail Online | 9/16/2019 | James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline
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Jean-Claude Juncker insisted he is still 'optimistic' for a Brexit deal as he met Boris Johnson for the first time as PM today.

The EU commission president smiled and waved as he arrived at the restaurant in Luxembourg accompanied by chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Reporters - Patience - Bill - Meal

'I am always optimistic,' he told reporters. 'Europe never loses patience.' He also joked that he would 'pick up the bill' for the meal.

Mr Juncker and Mr Johnson shook hands before going inside, where they are considering the impasse over a lunch of snails, salmon and cheese.

Mr - Johnson - Deal - 'signs - Movement

Earlier, Mr Johnson insisted he is 'passionate' about getting a deal and hailed 'signs of movement'.

But he said he would 'get Brexit done' by ensuring the UK leaves by October 31, whether or not an agreement is reached.

Mr - Juncker - Prospects - Breakthrough - Today

Mr Juncker has played down the prospects of a breakthrough today and warned that 'time is running out'.

The talks are a pivotal moment in the Brexit process, with just 45 days left until the UK is due to leave.

Mr - Johnson - Determination - Deadline - Agreement

Mr Johnson has made clear he will reiterate his determination to stick to the deadline, whether there is an agreement or not - likening himself to the 'Incredible Hulk' breaking free of 'manacles'.

The government has ramped up efforts to get a settlement with Brussels after Remainer MPs moved to hem in the government by ruling out No Deal, and blocking an election.

Legislation - Parliament - PM - Extension - Agreement

Legislation passed by Parliament obliges the PM to seek an extension if an agreement is not struck by October 19 - the day after a make-or-break EU summit concludes.

However, allies of the premier have been claiming there is a loophole in the rebel law that could allow the government to ignore it.

Mr - Johnson - Mr - Juncker - Encounter

Mr Johnson will meet Mr Juncker at lunchtime – their first encounter since he entered Downing Street.

Over a meal...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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