Johnson tells Juncker no Brexit deal if backstop remains

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference at the end of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker by phone on Tuesday that there was no prospect of a Brexit deal unless the Irish border backstop was abolished, his office said.

“The Prime Minister set out that the UK will be leaving the EU on Oct. 31 whatever the circumstances, and that we absolutely want to do so with a deal,” a spokeswoman said. “The PM was also clear however that unless the Withdrawal Agreement is reopened and the backstop abolished there is no prospect of that deal.”

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Mark Heinrich