PARIS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday. Following are key Johnson quotes when he spoke alongside Macron just after his arrival:
“I want to be clear to you Emmanuel, to the French people, that of course I want a deal and I think that we can get a deal and a good deal. I was powerfully encouraged by our conversations last night in Berlin with our mutual friends and I know that with energy and with creativity and with application we can find a way forward for all our businesses and our citizens.
“It is vital for trust in politics that if you have a referendum then you should act on the instructions of the voters and that is why we must come out of the EU on October 31, deal or no deal, and then of course we can take our relationship forward.
“Let’s get Brexit done, let’s get it done sensibly and pragmatically and in the interests of both sides and let’s not wait until October 31. Let’s get on now in deepening and intensifying the friendship and partnership between us.
“When you look at the border with Northern Ireland ... under no circumstances will the UK government be instituting, imposing, checks or controls of any kind at that border.
“We think there are ways of protecting the integrity of the single market and allowing the UK to exit from the EU, all and entire and perfect as it were.
“It was very interesting to hear some of positive noises that we’re now hearing about the ways that can be done. We look forward to developing those thoughts in the next few weeks.
“She (Merkel) said if we can do this in two years then we can do this in 30 days and I admire that ‘can-do’ spirit that she seemed to have and I think she is right. I think that the technical solutions are readily available and they have been discussed at great length.
“You can have trusted-trader schemes, you can have electronic pre-clearing for goods moving across the border and I just want to repeat one crucial thing, under no circumstances will the UK be putting checks at the frontier. We don’t think it is necessary from the point of view of the EU to do that to protect the integrity of the single market, we think there are other ways of doing that. We have got I think adequate time to do it, let’s get on and do it.
“A great deal of work has already been done to ensure that the transition on October 31 is as smooth as it possibly can be and so there are already agreements on aviation, on financial services, many other sectors and what we want to do in the next 71 days or whatever is remaining, we want to make sure we do all the necessary work on both sides of the Channel to make sure that whether we get an agreement or not our exit is as smooth and pain-free as possible for citizens and businesses on both sides.”
Reporting by William James; writing by Kylie MacLellan, James Davey and Estelle Shirbon
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