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Boris Johnson raised his arms high in the air in an apparent expression of triumph this evening on his return from unexpectedly encouraging talks with European counterparts.
Both Emmanuel Macron today, and Angela Merkel yesterday, gave the British PM a glimmer of hope of pulling off his plan to leave the EU with a deal which does not include the hated Irish backstop.
Car - Downing - Street - Today - Lunch
Glimpsed as his ministerial car pulled up to Downing Street today following lunch with the French President in Paris the PM was seen to hold both raised fists aloft.
Today the French president gave his reluctant backing to Angela Merkel's plan to give the UK 30 days to come up with an alternative to the backstop.
PM - Hopes - Terms - Britain - Divorce
The PM's hopes of renegotiating the terms of Britain's divorce from the EU received an unexpected boost when Mr Macron was warmer on the prospects of breaking the current impasse than had been expected.
And Mr Macron's approach appeared to put the PM in a good mood as he put his feet up on on a table as the pair met inside the Elysee Palace.
Ms - Merkel - Mr - Johnson - Berlin
Ms Merkel had told Mr Johnson in Berlin last night that she was open to hearing how the UK proposed to replace the backstop and today the French president said he would follow her lead.
However, he did strike a less optimistic tone than his European counterpart as he poured cold water on the idea that Britain will be able to come up with something substantially different to the existing border insurance mechanism.
Mr - Macron - Changes - Framework - Deal
Meanwhile, Mr Macron insisted that any changes would have to be made within the framework of the existing deal in comments which appeared to dash Mr Johnson's hopes of a complete overhaul.
The French president said: 'We will not find a new Withdrawal Agreement within 30 days...
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