Boris Johnson is due to meet Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel as he discusses Brexit, Iran and the climate crisis at the United Nations.
The British Prime Minister arrives on Sunday in New York for the annual General Assembly where world leaders will also convene for the UN’s Climate Action Summit.
Mr Johnson will meet Leo Varadkar, following the Tánaiste’s warning that a “wide gap” remains between the UK and the EU on securing a new deal.
The PM will also meet European Council president Donald Tusk, as the PM tries to reach an agreement ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline.
His meeting with French President Mr Macron and German Chancellor Mrs Merkel is being billed as an E3 meeting to discuss the attacks on the Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.
But a senior Government official said: “I’m sure Brexit will come up.
“What this gives the PM an opportunity to do is talk to them at leader level about what some of our proposals are.
“At the same time we are under no illusions that there’s an awful lot of work to do.”
It is likely they will discuss the three “non-papers” the UK has shared with the bloc, focusing on the agrifood zone, customs issues and on manufactured goods.
EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker buoyed hopes by insisting “we can have a deal”, but Ireland’s deputy prime minister Simon Coveney said a “wide gap” remains between Mr Johnson and the bloc.
Mr Tusk will meet with Mr Varadkar and Mrs Merkel ahead of his talks with the PM.
Other “wider foreign policy” issues such as Iran and Syria will also be discussed, the official said.
🇬🇧 We are leaving the EU on October 31st. No ifs, no buts. 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/ksnjLji7Hz
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) September 20, 2019
Mr Johnson will also meet the US president, when he is expected to discuss Iran, Afghanistan and the climate crisis – a thorny subject for Mr Trump who has described it as a “hoax”.
Ahead of the assembly, the PM said he would be raising three “crucial issues”.
“First, how Britain can work with our European and American allies on peace and stability in the Middle East,” he said.
“Second, how science and new technologies can help the world deal with climate change and the threats to biodiversity.
“And third, how post-Brexit Britain will be a better place to invest in and live in.”
The PM’s partner, Carrie Symonds, is also expected to attend the General Assembly, but the official stressed she was travelling for her own work with environmental group Oceana and not with the PM.
Her attendance will signal she has surmounted her visa difficulties after she was barred from visiting the US for reasons which remain unclear.
Other bilaterals anticipated for the PM are with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Indian PM Narendra Modi, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.