Jean-Claude Juncker says he will not give his backing to an extension of Article 50

PUBLISHED: 15:02 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 17 October 2019

Jean-Claude Juncker talking to assembled journalists in Brussels. Picture: BBC

Jean-Claude Juncker talking to assembled journalists in Brussels. Picture: BBC

BBC

The president of the EU Commission has said that he does not support the granting of any extension to Article 50 after ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement with Boris Johnson.

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He told gathered reporters: "We have a deal. The British PM has to make sure that the deal will pass the hurdles of Westminster.

As president of the Commission Juncker has strong influence but it is the EU council of 27 heads of state that would decide on whether or not to grant an extension to Article 50.

However, his words will be a boon to the prime minister seeking to convince MPs to back his deal.

Juncker said he had spoken to Johnson several times that day, and that he "was ruling out that there will be any kind of prolongation."

"If we have a deal we have a deal and there is no need for prolongation. That's the British view, that's my view too."

Asked what would happen if the deal doesn't pass with UK MPs, he said: "I'm not in charge of parliamentary affairs of Britain," he said.

He added that he is not happy about the UK leaving the EU.

He said: "I'm satisfied that it was possible to conclude a deal but I am not happy about the fact that Britain is leaving the European Union.

"So I am happy we have the result of the deal but I am not happy with the final final result."

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