Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, and Boris Johnson, British prime minister, meet in Luxembourg City, 16 September 2019. Photo credit: European Commission
Jean-Claude Juncker met with Boris Johnson for a working lunch on Monday in Luxembourg City’s old town.
The UK Brexit secretary and European Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier were also at the lunch in what Juncker’s spokeswoman, Mina Andreeva, tweeted was a “friendly meeting. Negotiations will continue at high speed.”
According to the EC press statement, “President Juncker recalled that it is the UK's responsibility to come forward with legally operational solutions that are compatible with the Withdrawal Agreement. President Juncker underlined the Commission's continued willingness and openness to examine whether such proposals meet the objectives of the backstop. Such proposals have not yet been made.”
10 Downing Street called the meeting “constructive”, adding: “The Prime Minister reconfirmed his commitment to the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement and his determination to reach a deal with the backstop removed, that UK parliamentarians could support. The Prime Minister also reiterated that he would not request an extension and would take the UK out of the EU on the 31st October.”
Juncker’s next stop is Strasbourg, France, to attend the Wednesday morning European Parliament plenary session, but conversations are expected to intensify between him and Johnson, according to 10 Downing Street, with meetings soon to “take place on a daily basis”.
Johnson went on to meet Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel.
Demonstrators on Place Clairefontaine in Luxembourg City, awaiting Boris Johnson's arrival for his meeting with PM Xavier Bettel pic.twitter.com/7WUABl6xQo