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Tory hardliners warn BoJo they’ll block May’s ‘dead’ Brexit deal, even without Irish backstop

Tory hardliners warn BoJo they’ll block May’s ‘dead’ Brexit deal, even without Irish backstop
A leading Tory Brexiteer has issued a veiled threat to PM Boris Johnson, warning him that he and other anti-EU backbench MPs would block any attempt to pass the current EU withdrawal agreement, even without the Irish backstop.

Conservative MP Mark Francois, who was one of 28 Tory lawmakers to consistently vote against the current Brexit deal negotiated by former PM Theresa May, told the Telegraph’s Chopper’s Brexit podcast that he and around 60 colleagues would vote it down again.

I don’t think you could revive the Withdrawal Agreement realistically. Even if you took the backstop out, there are too many other things that are wrong with it.

Francois claimed that Johnson had made it “very clear” to him and other members of the pro-Brexit European Research Group (ERG), that the EU “withdrawal agreement was dead,” at a secret meeting before the first round of MPs’ voting in the Tory leadership election.

Also on rt.com BoJo & Irish PM Varadkar clash over ‘backstop’ in first exchange about Brexit

It comes as the UK prime minister ratchets up tensions with the Republic of Ireland over the contentious backstop. Johnson wants it abolished, while Taoiseach (Irish PM) Leo Varadkar insists that it is “necessary” to uphold the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

The backstop is an insurance mechanism to maintain current customs arrangements and avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, if no replacement for such arrangements has been found by the end of the proposed transition period.

Francois recently ruffled feathers by linking the EU to Nazi-era Germany when he referred to EC President Jean-Claude Juncker as “Herr Juncker in the bunker,” in an interview with BBC Newsnight.

“Why can’t the EU be exactly the same? The EU says that there’s absolutely nothing that will change,” host Kirsty Wark asked the MP for Rayleigh and Wickford.

“Well, Herr Juncker in the bunker would say that, wouldn’t he?” Francois wryly responded.

Also on rt.com ‘Herr Juncker in the bunker’: Brexiteer’s off-the-cuff potshot sets Twitter alight

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