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 single…

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