British PM to brief Cabinet on Brexit talks in Brussels


LONDON, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to hold a Cabinet briefing on Wednesday afternoon on the ongoing Brexit talks in Brussels as Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that there are “many issues” to be resolved before a Brexit agreement can be reached.

The Cabinet briefing is expected to kick off at 4:00 p.m. BST on Wednesday before the prime minister addresses a scheduled meeting of the parliamentary group of the Conservative Party in the House of Commons, media reports said.

The Brexit talks continued on Wednesday in Brussels ahead of a vital European Union (EU) summit on Thursday and Friday. Johnson has long seen the upcoming summit as the crucial moment for Brexit talks.

British and EU negotiators worked in Brussels until 2:30 a.m. London time on Wednesday and they resumed talks on Wednesday morning, according to the reports.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, is due to tell ambassadors of the 27 EU members on Wednesday afternoon whether there is an agreement to be signed off by leaders when they meet at the summit.

If the prime minister fails to win a deal from Brussels, he will be forced by law to seek a delay to Britain’s scheduled departure from the regional bloc on Oct. 31.

Earlier Wednesday, British Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told the Evening Standard newspaper that the prime minister will send a letter seeking a Brexit extension if no deal is passed by Saturday.

Barclay also said the British government has submitted draft texts for the political declaration with the EU. Asked if the government is discussing a revised political declaration with the EU, Barclay said: “Yes we are.”

German government officials said reaching a deal this week was an ambitious target and that agreeing on the technical issues could require another two months of talks, unless Britain made big enough concessions, said the reports.

Johnson has long made it clear that he will take his country out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a deal, and he will not ask Brussels for “another pointless delay” of Brexit.