Johnson drops hard line in last-ditch Brexit ploy
Hopes are rising that embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will try to reach a deal with the EU rather than be forced into delaying Brexit.
His private meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar failed to provide any breakthrough. However, at a time when Anglo-Irish relations are in a difficult state, Government sources said there is now the basis for positive engagement.
The House of Commons was then suspended by the government until October 14 - three days before a crucial EU summit where the future direction of Brexit will be decided.
On the steps of Government Buildings, Mr Johnson said he would “overwhelmingly prefer” to do a deal.
There is growing speculation that Mr Johnson is moving towards a version of the backstop that was originally tabled by his predecessor.
The Conservative Party has now lost its working majority, meaning the support of the DUP is less relevant.
She said Mr Johnson had “already ruled out a Northern Ireland-only backstop”.
Mr Johnson said he understood the “conundrum” Brexit has caused for Ireland, and the “fantastic political importance and sensitivities of the Border”.
In an attempt to outline how a no-deal Brexit will only result in a need for further talks between the UK and EU after huge economic damage has been inflicted, Mr Varadkar said “the story of Brexit will not end if the United Kingdom leaves on October 31 or even January 31”.
“We are open to alternatives, but they must be realistic ones, legally binding and workable and we haven’t received such proposals to date,” the Taoiseach said.
When asked whether the EU would even grant another delay, Mr Varadkar cautioned that “the vast majority of countries around the table would prefer there not be an extension”.Read more: Independent.ie
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