Brexit deal can be done by October 31, Ireland says after ‘positive’ Johnson meeting

THORNTON MANOR, England (Reuters) – A Brexit deal could be clinched by the end of October to allow the United Kingdom to leave the European Union in an orderly fashion, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said after what he called a very positive meeting with Boris Johnson.

With just three weeks to go before the United Kingdom is due to leave the world’s biggest trading bloc, it remains unclear on what terms it will leave or indeed whether it will leave at all.

After Brexit descended into a public row between London and Brussels earlier this week, Johnson, the British prime minister, met Varadkar at Thornton Manor in Cheshire on Thursday in a last ditch bid to avert an acrimonious divorce or another delay.

“I think it is possible for us to come to an agreement, to have a treaty agreed, to allow the UK to leave the EU in an orderly fashion and to have that done by the end of October,” Varadkar told Irish reporters.

“But there’s many a slip between cup and lip and lots of things that are not in my control,” he said.

When asked about who made concessions to break the impasse, Varadkar said: “I don’t think this should be seen in the context of who’s making concessions, or who the winners and losers are, I don’t think that’s the game any of us want to play.”

In a joint statement, the two leaders said they “could see a pathway to a possible deal” and that the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier would meet his British counterpart Steve Barclay in Brussels on Friday.

Sterling shot up 1.5% to $1.2387. British 10-year government bond yields recorded their biggest one-day rise in nearly four years.

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