Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Brexit latest: Boris to meet defiant Merkel: ‘She will offer him NOTHING’ | Politics | News

The Prime Minister is seeking to reopen discussions around the Irish Backstop, while his Government ramps up its preparations for a no-deal exit from the bloc. On Monday, the Prime Minister wrote a letter asking for negotiations to resume. But European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: ““The backstop is an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless and until an alternative is found.

“Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support re-establishing a border. Even if they do not admit it.”

But as Mr Johnson heads to Berlin to meet with Angela Merkel, a POLITICO report claims the German leader is not prepared to offer him any allowances.

It is expected Ms Merkel will insist that the backstop and Withdrawal Agreement can’t be changed.

The report read: ““Ran into a very senior German official this evening and asked him what Merkel would offer Boris tomorrow on Brexit. His response: ‘Nothing.’ Then he laughed.”

Meanwhile, the EC circulated a note to EU27 heads highlighting concerns about Johnson’s letter.

It read: “The EU regrets that the new United Kingdom government wants to replace a legally operative solution with a commitment to try to find a solution — yet to be found — by the end of the transition period.”

The letter said the “suggestion that two separate legal, political, economic, and monetary jurisdictions already exist on the island and can be managed with an open border is misleading.”

On Tuesday, Mr Johnson said the European Union was “a bit negative” about the prospects of reaching a Brexit deal. The bloc earlier rejected Mr Johnson’s demand that it reopen the Brexit divorce deal, saying Britain had failed to propose policy for the Irish border.

The Prime Minister told reporters: “At the moment it is absolutely true that our friends and partners are a bit negative… but I think we’ll get there. I think there is a real sense now that something needs to be done with this backstop.”


8.10am update: Boris Johnson is “going through the motions” with trip to Europe

Former Tory MP Ed Vaizey has blasted Boris Johnson;]’s meeting today as “just going through the motions” and accussed the Prime Minister of being “hell-bent on getting no deal”.

The MP for Wantage told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Well I’m not going to vote no confidence in the Government.

“I will look at any measures that could prevent no-deal happening, but my challenge to my anti no-deal colleagues, and I totally respect their position and my position is where does that get us?

“Where does an extension get us? It delays it by six months to a year, it doesn’t solve the problem.

We’re going to keep coming back to the Withdrawal Agreement, we’re going to continue to have a hung Parliament and a zombie Parliament unless and until we leave the EU and parties can then campaign to try and get a majority.

“So we have to find a way to get Parliament to agree to a deal and therefore I would give Boris Johnson the credit of at least forcing on Parliament an existential crisis by being faced with a Prime Minister who is hell-bent on getting no-deal.

“He is completely serious about no-deal and there’s no chance of him negotiating a deal with the EU, he knows that, he’s just going though the motions.”

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