British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Ireland's leader that a Brexit deal can be reached so Britain leaves the European Union by October 31.

Johnson told Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar that he believes a deal on the Irish border question can be secured in time to enable a smooth British departure from the EU by the scheduled Brexit date.

He said a "no-deal" departure from the European Union would represent a "failure of statecraft.

"Varadkar also said at a joint appearance before the start of a meeting in Dublin that Britain has not produced any realistic alternatives to the controversial "backstop" agreement reached by Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May.

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, meets with Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. Photo / AP
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, meets with Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. Photo / AP

Opposition to the backstop was a key reason why Britain's Parliament rejected May's Brexit deal with the EU on three occasions earlier this year.

The backstop is intended to make sure that no hard border is put up between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

The Irish leader says more negotiations are needed and that the Good Friday peace agreement, which states that no hard border is reimposed on the island of Ireland, must be respected.

- AP