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Boris Johnson, EU chief to meet after legal threat over Brexit

European Council President Charles Michel (L) speaks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen via teleconference prior to Brexit talks at the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium, on June 15. File Photo by Francisco Seco/EPA-EFE/Pool
European Council President Charles Michel (L) speaks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen via teleconference prior to Brexit talks at the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium, on June 15. File Photo by Francisco Seco/EPA-EFE/Pool

Oct. 2 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are planning to meet Saturday after the alliance said it would start a legal complaint over a British bill that seeks to override parts of the Brexit deal.

The two are planning to meet via teleconference to resolve a dispute that's intensified since Johnson's government proposed a bill that would give London authority to supersede parts of the Brexit agreement both sides agreed to last year.

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"[Britain takes] stock of negotiations and discuss next steps," a representative from Johnson's office said.

Von der Leyen said Thursday the EU would pursue legal recourse against Britain over the proposed legislation.

Johnson has supported the "internal market" bill, which would allow the government to modify or "disapply" Brexit rules related to shipping goods relating to Northern Ireland -- if London and the EU can't reach a trade agreement by the end of the transition period on Jan. 1.

Trade meetings for the last several months have not yet produced a breakthrough, but British chief negotiator David Frost and EU counterpart Michel Barnier have made some advances.

Some have pointed to early November as a possible deadline for an agreement, given the time needed for ratification by both bodies before the transition ends at midnight on Dec. 31.

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