Emmanuel Macron - France Politics News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday challenged Britain to come up with alternatives to the Irish border backstop within 30 days, but French President Emmanuel Macron cautioned there would be no renegotiation of the Brexit deal. More than three years after the United Kingdom voted to quit the European Union, it is still unclear on what terms – or indeed whether – the bloc’s second largest economy will leave the club it joined in 1973. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a Brexiteer who won the premiership a month ago, is betting that the threat of “no-deal” Brexit turmoil will convince Merkel and Macron that the EU should do a last-minute deal to suit his demands. Speaking beside Merkel at the German Chancellery, Johnson repeatedly said that the Irish border backstop – which is a protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement struck by his predecessor Theresa May – needed to be removed in full. “It was said we will probably find a solution in two years. But we could also find one in the next 30 days, why not?” Merkel, Europe’s most powerful leader, said. Johnson confirmed that she had given him 30 days to come up with alternatives and said there was ample scope for a deal. The two leaders had a constructive dinner of tuna, venison and chocolate tart, a British source said. But just an hour after Merkel spoke, Macron said the demands made by Johnson for a renegotiation of the divorce deal, including the removal of the IrishContinue reading

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Boris Johnson and Donald Tusk - EU News - UK

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s demands to drop the Brexit backstop came with no “realistic alternatives” and amounted to seeking a return to controls along the sensitive Irish border. Tusk was responding to a letter in which Johnson said the backstop – an insurance policy to preserve open borders on the island of Ireland after Britain leaves the European Union – must be erased for Britain to ratify its stalled EU divorce treaty. “The backstop is an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless and until an alternative is found,” Donald Tusk said on Twitter. “Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support re-establishing a border. Even if they do not admit it.” His comments were echoed by the EU’s executive European Commission, which said the backstop was the only way agreed so far by the bloc and Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May that would avoid the reimposition of full Irish border controls. “The letter does not provide a legal operational solution to prevent the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland,” Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud told a news briefing. “Our position on the backstop is well known…It is the only means identified so far by both parties to honour this commitment.” The EU wants to ensure that its only land border with the United Kingdom after Brexit does not become a back door for goods to enter the EU’s singleContinue reading

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