Posted on Aug 20, 2019
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s demand that the European Union reopen the Brexit divorce deal was rebuffed on Tuesday by the bloc, which said Britain had failed to propose any realistic alternative to an agreed insurance policy for the Irish border, Reuters reports.
In his opening bid to the EU ahead of meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Johnson wrote a four-page letter to European Council President Donald Tusk.
“I propose that the backstop should be replaced with a commitment to put in place (alternative) arrangements as far as possible before the end of the transition period, as part of the future relationship,” Johnson wrote. “Time is very short.”
Tusk said Johnson had proposed no realistic alternatives, and the European Commission took a similar line, though the EU’s most powerful leaders - Merkel and Macron - had yet to comment.
A note seen by Reuters setting out the agreed joint position of the 27 EU states staying on after Brexit said the EU regretted Johnson’s bid to scrap a “necessary, legally operative solution” in favour of a “commitment to try to find a solution”..
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