8/19/2019, 9:42 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Johnson asks EU to remove backstop from Brexit deal

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk on Monday asking the European Union to remove the backstop clause from the Brexit agreement, warning the UK Parliament will never back the existing deal.

Johnson claimed that the Irish backstop provision is "anti-democratic and inconsistent with the sovereignty of the UK," risks "weakening the delicate balance" from the Good Friday Agreement, as well as UK's goal of having a "sustainable long-term relationship with the EU." The UK prime minister expressed confidence that reaching an alternative solution is possible and stressed it must ensure there is no hard border in Ireland. "The backstop should be replaced with a commitment to put in place such arrangements as far as possible before the end of the transition period, as part of the future relationship," Johnson proposed and added that the UK and EU should also agree on what would happen if "these arrangements were not all fully in place" at the end of the transition period.

Earlier today, Johnson spoke with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar who reiterated EU's position that the existing withdrawal agreement cannot be renegotiated. Varadkar stressed that Ireland needs a "legally operable guarantee to ensure no hard border."

Breaking the News / NP