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Brexit: UK will reject any delay offer, PM to tell Juncker

The UK is not prepared to delay Brexit beyond the 31 October deadline, Boris Johnson will tell European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker later.

The lunchtime meeting in Luxembourg will be the first time the pair have met since the PM took office in July.

A Downing Street source says Mr Johnson will stress he wants to secure a deal by 18 October, after a key EU summit.

But ex-minister David Gauke said there were no new detailed plans to replace the controversial Irish backstop.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier will also attend the meeting in Luxembourg, while Mr Johnson will be accompanied by Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and Downing Street’s Brexit representative David Frost.

The Downing Street source said Mr Johnson “would make clear that he would not countenance any more delays”.

They added: “Any further extension would be a huge mistake. It is not just a question of the extra dither and delay – it is also the additional long months of rancour and division, and all at huge expense.”

“This is why the PM will stress to Mr Juncker that, while he wants to secure a deal, if no deal can be agreed by October 18 his policy is to leave without a deal on October 31 – and reject any delay offered by the EU.”

However, EU officials who have been involved in the Brexit talks say they have not seen the progress around the negotiating table that the UK is talking about, said the BBC’s Brussels reporter Adam Fleming.

Former justice secretary David Gauke told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday: “It still remains the case the UK government has not produced detailed proposals as to how it wants to replace the Irish backstop.

“But I very much welcome, if you like, the intention of the prime minister to get a deal. But to get a deal – and I hope he does get a deal – we’ve clearly got to come forward with detailed proposals.

In an interview with German radio on Sunday, Mr Juncker also said he was unsure there was an alternative to the Irish backstop.

The backstop is the controversial policy in the existing withdrawal agreement aimed at preventing a hard border returning to the island of Ireland.

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