Talks between Britain and the European Union on an exit agreement will intensify, a statement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office said yesterday, reiterating that the British leader will not request a delay for Brexit beyond Oct. 31. "The leaders agreed that the discussions needed to intensify and that meetings would soon take place on a daily basis," a spokesman from Johnson's office said in a statement following a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. "It was agreed that talks should also take place at a political level between Michel Barnier and the Brexit secretary, and conversations would also continue between President [Jean-Claude] Juncker and the prime minister."
Their meeting, at a restaurant in Juncker's native Luxembourg, is the first since Johnson took over in July. It comes ahead of a summit of EU leaders next month, at which the British premier hopes to strike a new Brexit deal with the European Union.
Johnson insists the country must leave the EU on Oct. 31, with or without a divorce deal to smooth the way. But many lawmakers fear a no-deal Brexit would be economically devastating and are determined to stop him. Opposition lawmakers and rebel Conservatives have dealt the government's Brexit plans a series of blows. They passed a law that orders the government to seek a three-month delay to Brexit if no agreement has been reached by late October, rejected Johnson's call for a snap general election and ordered the release of the Yellowhammer document. Johnson suspended Parliament for five weeks until Oct. 14, sparking outrage among legislators and several legal challenges.