Published On: Tue, Sep 3rd, 2019

Brexit news: Dominic Raab says Brussels ready to capitulate to Boris Johnson’s demands | UK | News

Foreign Secretary claimed at a meeting last week European colleagues appeared to be moving toward accepting British demands to change the deal. Prime Minister demanded the agree to remove the “undemocratic” Irish backstop that caused the logjam in talks but was refused. However, the Tory frontbencher told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme Brussels may soon capitulate: “In terms of progress in the negotiations, there has been movement. I was out talking to EU Foreign Ministers on Thursday and Friday in Helsinki and what’s clear is two things.

“They have moved the position so now the EU is willing to contemplate opening up the withdrawal agreement in a way that wasn’t there before.

“Obviously there will be a lot of devil in the detail.”

The former Brexit Secretary said “there is a lot of positivity” among EU colleagues due to the “constructive” demands the British Government has made, saying the UK is putting forward alternative proposals to take the out.

The backstop was devised to avoid the return of a hard border between and the Republic in the event of no deal. Brexiteers have voiced concerns the insurance policy would be used to keep the whole of the UK closely aligned to the single market and the customs union indefinitely. 

Mr Raab insisted the change of heart in Brussels was the result of the resolute strategy Prime Minister Johnson adopted upon taking power.

He continued: “The reason that’s happened is because of the demand from the Prime Minister has been very clear, removing the undemocratic backstop.

“And secondly, the resolve of this Government that we will leave at the end of October.”

Boris Johnson is set to face a rebellion from the  ranks on Tuesday as MPs are set to vote on a new bill aimed at taking a no deal Brexit off the table. The party, currently holding a majority of one in the Commons, could see as many as 22 MPs vote against it.

On Sunday, a senior source from the Government whips office said any Conservative Party members who voted against the party line on Tuesday would be expelled and deselected.

Ex-Justice Secretary said it was an attempt to “purge” Tory rebels who disagree with the Government on Brexit.

The move has prompted outcry from MPs across parties, as the Prime Minister remains committed to his plans to deliver Brexit, deal or no deal, on October 31.

EU sources have revealed that key figures will this week increase their resistance to any plans presented by Mr Johnson’s chief negotiator David Frost.

Officials in the bloc want to restrict positivity in London after comments made by and France’s were deemed to mean the EU is ready to change the withdrawal agreement.

The EU is said to be unhappy after Mr Johnson has gained the upper hand in the Brexit negotiations and the way that the talks have been spun by his team.

Guy Verhofstadt is also expected to make his support for Mr Barnier’s hardline approach vocal in the coming days.

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