European officials have spoken out against Boris Johnson’s Brexit policy after he delivered his first official speech. The new PM stated that he is intending to remove the backstop regarding Ireland’s borders, a hotly-contested issue during negotiations.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s primary Brexit negotiator stated that removing this backstop guarantee would be unacceptable. Johnson also had a phone conversation with EUC President Juncker where the latter reiterated EU’s stand that the current withdrawal agreement would be the best possible one. However, the commission was open for talks during the following weeks, he said.
Johnson gave a speech in Britain’s House of Commons, where he pledged to complete Brexit before October ended. This backstop happens to be a key term in the deal which was negotiated by Theresa May’s government, dictating the procedure regarding the border that lies between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
This will be a final resort move, which will guarantee frictionless borders unless a better resolution is found. Mr. Johnson stated that no country which valued its independence & self-respect would agree to such a treaty that signed away self-government and economic independence. He stated that he would get rid of this backstop, calling it anti-democratic and divisive. He stated that British people and the government were given an appalling choice, which meant they would be losing their control over regulations and trade.
Barnier communicated to leaders in Europe that EU held canceling the backstop as an unacceptable move and labeled Johnson’s speech to be combative. However, he stated that EU officials were ready to negotiate and agree to the UK’s ideas which were compatible with this current withdrawal agreement.
He stated that they were preparing for a scenario where Johnson preferred a no-deal situation in an attempt to pressurize EU27 unity. However, the EU would still remain calm, show unity and solidarity and stick to their principles, he said.
The PM’s official spokesman stated that Johnson would be actively pursuing a deal. However, the MPs rejection of May’s deal thrice showed that they didn’t want one, he said. Johnson is being pressurized by his own MP to ensure EU citizens retained their rights to live & remain in Britain. Alberto Costa stated that he wanted legal backing for this issue.
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