By Helene Fung
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar held a several hours long private lunch meeting this week and told the press that they found a “pathway” to a Brexit deal.
It comes just three weeks ahead of the UK’s deadline to leave the European Union on the 31st of October.
They said in a joint statement that “both continue to believe that a deal is in everybody’s interest”. They agreed to “reflect” further on their discussions, and also to keep talking.
Mr Varadkar sounded more positive than he has in recent weeks, saying “I think it is possible for us to come to an agreement”.
Previous attempts to find a deal failed due to arrangements for the border between EU member Ireland and the UK’s Northern Ireland.
Under a UK proposal, there would have to be customs checks on some goods, though not on the Northern Ireland border itself.
The EU however said that customs checks are unacceptable.
Mr Johnson’s heart is set on UK leaving the EU on the 31st of October –with or without a deal.
However, many of his fellow parliamentarians are determined to prevent a no-deal Brexit, which is forecast to be capable of plunging the UK economy into recession.