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Boris Johnson ‘cautiously optimistic’ of Brexit deal

Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech at the Convention of the North at the Magna Centre on September 13, 2019 in Rotherham, England | WPA Pool photo by Christopher Furlong via Getty Images

Boris Johnson ‘cautiously optimistic’ of Brexit deal

‘Get back to parliament,’ a heckler shouted during Johnson’s speech.

By

9/13/19, 3:37 PM CET

Updated 9/13/19, 4:11 PM CET

LONDON — The British prime minister claimed Friday that he has made “a good deal of progress” in his pursuit of a Brexit deal with the EU.

Speaking in Rotherham, south Yorkshire — after a speech that was interrupted by a heckler demanding to know why he was not with MPs in Westminster sorting out the Brexit “mess” — Boris Johnson said he felt “cautiously optimistic” over the prospects of getting a deal.

“We are working incredibly hard to get a deal. There is the rough shape of the deal to be done,” he said. “As some of you may have seen, I myself have been to talk to various other EU leaders particularly in Germany, in France and in Ireland, where we made a good deal of progress.”

His remarks come a day after the U.K. presented a long-awaited plan to EU negotiators on how to replace the controversial Northern Ireland backstop, but diplomats briefed on the Brexit talks say the proposals fall short of the reassurance that Dublin and Brussels need.

Johnson is set to travel to Luxembourg on Monday for Brexit talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

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