Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Johnson tells Merkel to scrap backstop to strike a Brexit deal | UK | News

The Prime Minister insisted Brexit talks could progress “rapidly” if European Union leaders willingly agree to his compromise proposal. He insisted the backstop would have to go in its entirety as a time limit to the measure to avoid a hard Irish border would not win the support of the House of Commons. Mr Johnson, however, made clear that he would respect other elements of the hated withdrawal agreement, such as those that guarentee citizens’ rights in both the UK and EU.

Speaking in Berlin, Mr Johnson told reporters: “Clearly we cannot accept the current withdrawal agreement, arrangements that either divide UK or lock us into the regulatory and trading arrangements of the EU, the order of the EU without the UK having any say, we do need that backstop removed.”

He added: “If we can do that, I am absolutely certain we can move forward together.”

The German Chancellor declared that Britain would have to be the party to put forward proposals to ensure that the Irish border problem is solved ahead of October 31.

She proclaimed that Germany was keen to “shape the future relationship in a way that would address this point”, but showed no willingness to remove the backstop from the withdrawal agreement.

Ms Merkel said: “In a way this is an expression of a problem we have not yet solved, once we have seen and say this could be a possible arrangement the backstop as a place holder is not needed.

“The backstop has always been a fallback if one is unable to solve this conundrum.”

The two leaders were full of compliments for their counterpart’s countries, insisting the Germany and the UK would both remain important partners after Brexit.

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