August 16, 2019 / 6:15 PM / a month ago

UK's Johnson to meet Macron, Merkel next week: Guardian

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Fusion Energy Research Centre at the Fulham Science Centre in Oxfordshire, Britain August 8, 2019. Julian Simmonds/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British leader Boris Johnson will travel to meet his French and German counterparts on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, in his first foreign engagements since becoming prime minister last month, a Guardian reporter said on Friday.

Johnson is seeking to persuade European Union leaders to reopen Brexit talks or face the prospect of its second-largest member leaving abruptly on Oct. 31 with no deal in place on their future relations, a move businesses expect would cause major disruption.

Germany’s government said earlier on Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel would meet Johnson soon but did not give a date.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s office had no immediate comment, and a spokeswoman for Johnson’s office had no update on his travel plans.

“Boris Johnson’s busy week to include Macron in Paris on Tues, Merkel in Berlin on Wed and calls with (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar and (EU Council leader) Donald Tusk,” the Guardian’s Brussels bureau chief said on Twitter.

News organization Buzzfeed had reported shortly before that Johnson would meet Macron and Merkel next week, without giving exact dates.

Johnson is already expected to attend a G7 meeting of European and world leaders in Biarritz, southwest France, next weekend.

Reporting by David Milliken; additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in PARIS and Joseph Nasr in BERLIN; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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