Boris Johnson plays down chance of Brexit breakthrough at UN
Despite a series of planned meetings with European leaders, the PM says there are ‘still difficulties’ over an agreement
“I would caution you all not to think this is going to be the moment,” he said. “I don’t wish to elevate excessively the belief that there will be a New York breakthrough. I’m not getting pessimistic – we will be pushing ahead, but there is still work to be done.”
The UK has floated the idea of some access for food and agricultural produce, with yet-to-be-finalised arrangements for non-frontier checks on other goods when a post-deal transition period would finish at the end of 2020, something the EU believes is far too woolly to be credible.
Johnson argued he had made considerable progress as prime minister, with EU leaders saying “they no longer necessarily have an attachment to the backstop”.
“And there is a way to do that. I think colleagues around the table in Brussels can see how we might do that. What it will take is the political will to get there, and I think it’s fair to say I’m still in the same position I was – I think cautiously optimistic is about right,”
Overall, Johnson argued, the EU did not seem particularly dogmatic over what kind of deal emerged, so long as one could be reached.Read more: The Guardian
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