Johnson Plays Hardball, Won’t Meet with EU Until They Remove Backstop by Victoria Friedman for Breitbart
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told EU leaders he will not meet to discuss Brexit with them until they are ready to renegotiate the exit treaty.
“The PM has been setting out to European leaders the position… that the Withdrawal Agreement with the backstop has not been able to pass parliament on the three occasions it was put in front of parliament. Therefore it needs to change,” Prime Minister Johnson’s spokesman said on Monday, according to Reuters.
“The prime minister would be happy to sit down when that position changes. But he is making it clear to everybody he speaks to that that needs to happen,” the spokesman added.
A senior government source had told the Daily Mail that Mr Johnson had no plans to visit Brussels, Berlin, or Paris after tense talks with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron last week where the three European leaders rejected the prime minister’s call to scrap the contentious Irish backstop from the withdrawal treaty.
Mr Johnson has committed to taking the UK out of the EU on October 31st, and while the prime minister holds out hope the exit treaty will be negotiated, Michael Gove, the minister is charge of coordinating Mr Johnson’s Brexit strategy, said the government “must operate on the assumption” that Brussels will not reopen talks and plans for a no-deal Brexit are fast advancing.
“I wouldn’t expect to see the Prime Minister doing the ritual tour of European capitals this summer for the sake of it,’ the source told the Daily Mail. “If they want to take the backstop out, then great, let’s get round the table.
‘If they don’t – and at the moment it seems they don’t – then OK, we will crack on and prepare for No Deal. We won’t be going to them.”