Sunday, Dec 15

Johnson wants Irish border backstop to be ripped out

In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk late Monday, Johnson said the Irish backstop must be removed.
20.08.2019 - 12:36

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has fired the opening salvo in his bid to renegotiate Britain’s divorce from the European Union, demanding that an insurance policy for the Irish border be removed from the Brexit deal and replaced with a pledge.

"THE BACKSTOP IS ANTI-DEMOCRATIC"

In his opening bid to the EU ahead of meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week, Johnson wrote a four-page letter to European Council President Donald Tusk setting out his demands.

"I propose that the backstop should be replaced with a commitment to put in place (alternative) arrangements as far as possible before the end of the transition period, as part of the future relationship," Johnson wrote.

"Time is very short. But the UK is ready to move quickly, and, given the degree of common ground already, I hope the EU will be ready to do likewise. I am equally confident that Parliament would be able to act rapidly if we were able to reach a satisfactory agreement which did not contain the backstop." he added.

The backstop would provisionally keep Britain in a customs union with the EU until a better solution is found to prevent the return of border control infrastructure along the 500-km (300-mile) land border between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.