BORIS Johnson clashed with EU leaders last night as he demanded they must start to compromise if a Brexit deal is to be reached.
The PM met a series of Europe’s powerbrokers in the margins of a UN Summit in New York.
Boris Johnson is pushing Brussels to replace the controversial Irish backstop[/caption]
It emerged Boris is growing frustrated with Brussels’ stand as he pushes to replace the controversial Irish backstop.
While he has shifted the UK’s position to propose an all-Ireland zone for food and livestock, the EU is refusing to reciprocate on a new arrangement for customs on the border.
A No10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister emphasised that in order to secure a deal we will now need to see movement and flexibility from the EU”.
In response, EU Council president Donald Tusk tweeted after his meeting with the PM last night: “No breakthrough. No breakdown. No time to lose”.
All Britain needs for a Brexit deal by October 31 is “political will” as its four main players have now aligned, Boris Johnson has said.
The PM insisted yesterday that there is “a strong coincidence of motive” that is seeing Britain, Ireland, Germany and France come together.
His declaration of hope came ahead of key meetings in New York last night with EU powerbrokers in the margins of a UN summit. On arrival in New York, Boris said: “The interesting thing about the current situation is there is a strong coincidence of motive among partners around the table.
“A large number of important players really do now want a deal.
“That certainly goes for the UK government, and I believe our German friends, for the French and for Leo Varadkar.
“All it will take is a political will to get there”.
But he also warned there are still “gaps” between the countries on how to solve the Irish border dilemma, meaning “there will be no New York break through”.
Mr Johnson held Brexit talks last night with Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron and EU Council president Donald Tusk.
Today he will see Irish Taoiseach Mr Varadkar, who last night warned he will not capitulate at the last moment to accept a “halfway house” solution to the border problem.
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier also yesterday dismissed the PM’s backstop plan, saying it was “difficult to see” how the two sides can reach a deal.
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Speaking in Berlin, he said: “The UK Government wants the EU to change the way the internal market and border controls operate after Brexit.
“I am sure you understand this is unacceptable. For the moment, we don’t have the basis to find an accord. The ball is in the court of the British.”
Standing alongside him, German foreign minister Heiko Maas warned Mr Johnson the EU “can’t do things by halves” over protecting the Single Market.
He said: “We examine every suggestion constructively. But even from a British point of view these presented ideas are not a legal and viable solution.”
But at the same time Jean-Claude Juncker insisted he believes the PM is serious about getting a deal.
He said: “I don’t share the idea of those who think that Johnson is playing games with us and with himself.
“I think he is trying to find an acceptable agreement for both the British Parliament and the European Parliament.”
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He also laid into the leaders of the Leave campaign, who included Mr Johnson, for running “a campaign of lies and fake news” in the 2016 referendum.
And he described Brexit as a “tragic moment for Europe” that “goes against the spirit of Churchill, who once advocated a United States of Europe”.
The remark will be seen as a barb at the PM, who counts the wartime leader among his political heroes and famously wrote a biography of him.
Leo Varadkar has warned he will not capitulate at the last moment to accept a ‘halfway house’ solution to the border problem[/caption]
Michel Barnier has said it is ‘difficult to see’ how the two sides can reach a deal[/caption]
Jean-Claude Juncker insisted he believes Boris Johnson is serious about getting a deal[/caption]
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