EU’s Juncker says Brexit will not be delayed

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shakes hands with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker as they prepare to address a press conference at a European Union Summit at European Union Headquarters in Brussels October 17, 2019. — AFP pic
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shakes hands with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker as they prepare to address a press conference at a European Union Summit at European Union Headquarters in Brussels October 17, 2019. — AFP pic

BRUSSELS, Oct 17 — European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker congratulated Prime Minister Boris Johnson on their Brexit withdrawal deal today and said it meant there would be “no further delay”.

“We have a deal, and this deal means there is no need for any kind of prolongation,” Juncker told reporters as he welcomed the British leader to EU headquarters ahead of summit talks.

British MPs are expected to vote on the deal on Saturday.  Pro-EU parliamentarians hope they can defeat it and Brexit can still be delayed to allow a general election or a new referendum on whether to leave the EU at all.

Arriving later at an EU summit of leaders expected to endorse the new withdrawal plan, Juncker said he hoped British MPs would pass the plan as agreed so that Britain can leave on October 31.

“There will be no prolongation. There is not an argument for further delay — it has to be done now,” he said.

“We have a deal. The British prime minister has to make sure it passes the hurdles of the British parliament. I was ruling out any sort of prolongation. We have a deal.

“I’m satisfied that we were able to find a deal. I’m sad that Britain will be leaving the European Union,” he said, adding that Johnson agreed that there should be no more delay. — AFP

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