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‘Withdrawal Agreement not open for renegotiation’: Tusk & Merkel deliver Brexit blow to Tories

‘Withdrawal Agreement not open for renegotiation’: Tusk & Merkel deliver Brexit blow to Tories
The Brexit divorce agreement is not up for re-negotiation, despite the impending election of a new UK prime minister. EU leaders have cast doubt on the viability of Tory leadership hopefuls’ plans.

Speaking after a summit of the 27 EU nations, President of the European Council Donald Tusk told reporters in Brussels on Friday that the UK-EU future partners could be revisited, but ruled out any chance of the withdrawal agreement being renegotiated.

...we are open for talks when it comes to the Declaration on the future UK-EU relations if the position of the United Kingdom were to evolve, but the Withdrawal Agreement is not open for renegotiation.

Tusk’s comments were echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who stated that the bloc will look to “cooperate with the newly elected British prime minister,” but they will reaffirm that the divorce part of the Brexit treaty will not come back onto the negotiating table.

The solidifying of the EU’s long-held position will further raise questions about the deliverability of Tory leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt’s proposals to break the Brexit impasse.

Johnson, the former foreign secretary who is the favorite to replace Theresa May as UK prime minister, has suggested taking the “good bits” from the existing withdrawal agreement and securing alternative arrangements to the Irish backstop during a transition period.

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Hunt has previously stated his belief that the EU would be open to renegotiating the contentious Irish backstop. He said at the weekend: “They say if they were approached by a British prime minister who had ideas on how to solve the Northern Ireland backstop, they would be willing to renegotiate the package.”

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