Published On: Sat, Aug 24th, 2019

Brexit block: Merkel and Macron’s ‘clever’ plot to stump Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan | UK | News


and have successfully “lobbed” the negotiating onus back to Boris Johnson after he demanded the removal of the controversial Irish backstop from the withdrawal agreement. Speaking on BBC’s Any Questions, MP Deidre Brock explained: “The papers are talking about discussions with Macron and Merkel as being this fantastic triumph, and they’re all going to be shifting and we’re going to see some progress here. But, actually, it seems to me what they’ve rather cleverly done is just lob this back into Boris Johnson’s side of the net.

“Because they’ve said to him: ‘Come up with a realistic alternative to a border around Northern Ireland.’

“So he has 30 days or two years – whatever you like, pick a time – but you have to come up with a realistic alternative.

“And, as of yet, it has been years and no one has done that.”

Mr Johnson made trips to both Berlin and Paris this week to meet the respective European leaders as part of his first trips abroad as Prime Minister.

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Both leaders were unwavering in their commitment to the backstop, unless a viable alternative were proposed.

Mr Johnson was candid about the wavering prospects of a Brexit deal upon his return.

He warned that getting a deal would “not be easy” and people should not “hold their breath” awaiting a breakthrough.

Speaking to reporters in Devon he said the “mood music” on his visits to Germany and France was “very good”.

The country will only be represented at meetings where the UK has a “significant national interest,” the Department for Exiting the European Union said.

Meanwhile, the Government is ramping up its preparations for no-deal with the Chancellor announcing an auto-enrolment scheme to help businesses prepare for post-Brexit trade with the EU.

HMRC will begin automatically enrolling businesses in a customs ID-system in an attempt to double the number which are currently registered.

More than 88,000 VAT registered companies across the UK will be allocated an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number in the next two weeks in order to keep trading with customers and suppliers in the EU once the UK has left the EU.

Labour has called for ministers to “put businesses and the economy first, and rule out a no-deal Brexit”.

Peter Dowd, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “This panicked announcement from the Chancellor is late in the day for the thousands of businesses that have customers and suppliers in the EU and rely on the steady flow of goods at UK ports.

“The issuing of EORI numbers will not come close to mitigating the disastrous effects a Tory No Deal Brexit will have on small business exporters.”



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