German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a deal on Britain’s exit from the EU was still possible as EU leaders headed to Brussels on Thursday for a two-day summit dominated by last-gasp negotiations.
The meeting will be Boris Johnson’s first and last EU summit as prime minister of Britain if he can seal an agreement with the other 27 member states to leave the EU on Oct. 31 – and get his parliament’s approval at a special session on Saturday.
Johnson spoke with the head of the European Union executive, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and a Commission spokesman said it still wanted a deal.
Merkel told the German parliament: “There has been movement in recent days, significant movement … so we are on a better path than before but, today I must say very clearly, we have not reached the goal yet.”
At the same time, Johnson is struggling to win the parliamentary backing he needs from politicians dismayed by concessions made over how to treat the border between EU member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which supports Johnson’s government, said on Thursday it would not accept what was being suggested, causing the British pound.