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UK PM Johnson says he believes he can strike an EU deal within weeks

Sept 15 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes that he can strike a deal with the European Union within weeks, he said, writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The former London mayor reiterated that he was working to ensure that Britain exited the European Union on Oct. 31.

He said that leaving the EU without a deal was never the outcome he wanted but preparations for a no-deal are "very extensive".

"If we can make enough progress in the next few days, I intend to go to that crucial summit on Oct. 17, and finalise an agreement that will protect the interests of business and citizens on both sides of the Channel, and on both sides of the border in Ireland," Johnson wrote in the Telegraph. (Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)