Boris Johnson to meet EU Commission chief as Brexit deal speculation mounts

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to meet Jean-Claude Juncker
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to meet Jean-Claude Juncker
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Boris Johnson will travel to Luxembourg on Monday for his first talks with the outgoing EU Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, as speculation mounts about a possible Brexit deal breakthrough.

Reports suggest that the government’s DUP allies are prepared to relent on maintaining common agri-food regulations with the Republic of Ireland, potentially stepping up checks on certain goods moving between Northern Ireland and Britain.

However, the DUP leader Arlene Foster responded by ruling out a Northern Ireland-only backstop plan, and DUP MP Sammy Wilson said the reports were “nonsense”.

“We will not accept a situation where the part of the UK to which we belong would be regarded as a third country when it comes to trade,” Mr Wilson posted on twitter.

A European Commission spokeswoman confirmed: "President Juncker will hold a working lunch with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson.

"This working lunch will take place in Luxembourg."

Following their meeting, Mr Johnson will also meet the Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, who warned this week that the EU would not automatically grant a delay to the UK’s 31 October Brexit date, as demanded by MPs.