Europe News

UK PM Johnson told Tusk EU needs to move to reach Brexit deal: UK government spokeswoman

Donald Tusk (L), President of the European Council, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meet at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, U.S. September 23, 2019. Don Emmert/POOL via REUTERS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told European Council President Donald Tusk that movement and flexibility were needed from the European Union if a Brexit deal is to be reached, a British government spokeswoman said.

Johnson and Tusk, meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, discussed progress in talks between Britain and the EU on finding an alternative to the Irish backstop, the spokeswoman said. The backstop is an insurance policy to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

“The prime minister emphasized that in order to secure a deal we will now need to see movement and flexibility from the EU,” she said, adding that the leaders had agreed to keep in touch over the coming weeks.

Following the meeting, Tusk said on Twitter: “No breakthrough. No breakdown. No time to lose.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien