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'I will do everything for a deal!' Juncker pleads with Johnson to avoid hard Brexit

JEAN-CLAUDE JUNKER has pleaded with Boris Johnson for alternative arrangements to the Irish backstop in order to avoid a "catastrophic" no deal Brexit.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker described his meeting Boris Johnson this week had been "positive". He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge it would be possible for the UK and EU to agree to a Brexit deal before the October 31 deadline. He added a no-deal Brexit would be “catastrophic” for the EU and UK and he was desperate to avoid this scenario.

He said: “I had a meeting with Boris Johnson the Prime Minister.

“This was a rather positive meeting, although the British press was reporting it in the other way, we can have a deal.”

Ms Ridge asked whether the odds of the UK striking a deal with the EU were 50/50 or better.

Mr Juncker replied: “I don’t know if they are more than 50/50.

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Jean-Claude Juncker admitted that the EU could drop the backstop and agree a Brexit deal (Image: Getty)Boris Johnson met with Jean-Claude Juncker earlier this week in Luxembourg to discuss Brexit (Image: Getty)

“But I am doing everything to have a deal because I don’t like the idea of no deal.

“Because it would have catastrophic consequences.

“It is better for Britain and the European Union to have an organised deal.

“As far as the alternative arrangements are concerned, allowing us and Britain to achieve the main objective of the backstop.

Jean-Claude Juncker said a no deal Brexit would be catastrophic for both the UK and EU (Image: Sky News)

“I don’t have an emotional attachment to the backstop but if the results are there I don’t care about the instrument.

Ms Ridge said: “Then, the backstop could go if the objectives are met?"

The European Commission president replied: “If the objectives are met, all of them, then we don’t need a backstop.”

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Boris Johnson has remained confident he would succeed in getting a Brexit deal by the deadline (Image: Getty)

The full interview between Mr Juncker and Ms Ridge will be shown on Sky News at 8.30am on Sunday morning.

Despite criticism from the opposition and some Tory MPs, Mr Johnson has remained confident a Brexit deal could be reached with the EU in time.

He has also vowed to not accept any deal that includes the backstop much to the dismay of those who feared this could lead to a no-deal Brexit.

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