August 20, 2019 / 4:54 PM / a month ago

EU being a bit negative but we will get there on Brexit deal -UK PM Johnson

LONDON, Aug 20 (Reuters) - The European Union is being “a big negative” about the prospects of reaching a Brexit deal but it can be done, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.

The bloc earlier rebuffed Johnson’s demand that it reopen the Brexit divorce deal, saying Britain had failed to propose any realistic alternative to the backstop, an agreed insurance policy for the Irish border.

“At the moment it is absolutely true that our friends and partners are a bit negative ... but I think we’ll get there. I think there is a real sense now that something needs to be done with this backstop,” Johnson told reporters.

“We think there’s a big opportunity now for everybody to come together, take out that backstop and then ... in the course of the negotiations on the free trade deal ... which we’re going to do after Oct. 31, we will be bringing forward all the ways in which we can maintain frictionless trade at the Northern Irish border.” (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison)

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