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20 Aug, 2019 12:48

No go for BoJo as Tusk rejects backstop bid, accuses PM of supporting return of Irish border

No go for BoJo as Tusk rejects backstop bid, accuses PM of supporting return of Irish border

EC President Donald Tusk has accused Boris Johnson of supporting the re-introduction of a border on the island of Ireland after failing to come up with “realistic alternatives” to the Irish backstop contained in the Brexit deal.

Johnson wrote to Tusk on Monday night, outlining proposals for breaking the Brexit impasse, with the UK hurtling towards a European Union exit without a deal on October 31. The letter penned by the UK PM was underpinned by the overarching demand that the contentious Irish backstop be ripped up and replaced with something else.

However, Tusk, who ostensibly represents the 27 EU member states, has reacted angrily to Johnson’s demands, reiterating that the backstop is an insurance policy to “avoid a hard border” on the island of Ireland.

Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support re-establishing a border. Even if they do not admit it.

It’s not just the EU that has rebuffed the Tory leader’s calls on the backstop. Others critical of the UK PM, such as Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, claim his “alternative arrangements” are short on detail. Starmer mocked Johnson on Twitter, claiming that his letter proves he has “no negotiating strategy,” because he is suggesting “unspecified alternatives to the backstop.”

Meanwhile Tony Lloyd, the party’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary, has remarked that Johnson appears to have “forgotten that he voted for Theresa May’s deal including the backstop.” 

The likelihood of a no-deal Brexit has increased since Prime Minister Johnson vowed to take the UK out of the EU – “do or die” – on October 31. He will meet with Germany’s Angela Merkel on Wednesday followed by France’s Emmanuel Macron on Thursday for Brexit discussions before the G7 summit in Biarritz.

Also on rt.com ‘Britain’s Trump’: Corbyn slams BoJo and ‘reckless’ govt, warns of ‘disastrous’ no-deal Brexit

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