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No-deal Brexit to be catastrophic: EU's Juncker

Friday - September 20, 2019 3:20 am , Category : WORLD
London, Sep 20 (IANS) European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said that a no-deal Brexit would be "catastrophic" and he was doing "everything to get a deal".

In an interview with Sky News on Thursday, Juncker said that "we can have a deal" and he believed "Brexit will happen", Xinhua reported.

He said he did not have "an erotic relation" to the so-called backstop, an arrangement aimed at avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.

After talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Luxembourg on Monday, the European Union blamed Britain for failing to put forward a substantial proposal on Brexit.

Juncker said that he was prepared to remove backstop from a withdrawal agreement, which was reached between London and Brussels when Theresa May was the British prime minister and repeatedly rejected by British parliament, so long as "alternative arrangements (are put in place) allowing us and Britain to achieve the main objectives of the backstop. All of them."

The Luxembourg trip was Johnson's latest efforts to meet with key European leaders, including the ones from Germany, France and outgoing European Council President Donald Tusk.

The talks were part of a continuing effort by the British government to seek a Brexit deal before the Halloween deadline.

Johnson vowed to take his country out of the European Union on October 31 with or without a deal.

--IANS pgh/