Trump, Johnson eye 'substantial' trade deal in first call

27 Juillet, 2019, 02:54 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Incoming British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves a private reception in London

Macron has emerged as one of the European Union leaders most willing to see Britain leave soon, without a deal if it chooses, so as not to threaten European Union stability and unity.

He has also said the so-called Northern Irish backstop must be abolished to avoid a no-deal Brexit. "He has demonstrated a degree of flexibility in the past", Varadkar told a politics forum, joking that Johnson had voted both for and against the Withdrawal Agreement his predecessor Theresa May negotiated with the EU.

"When the prime minister has these conversations with fellow leaders and the discussion moves on to Brexit, he will be setting out the same message which he delivered in the House of Commons yesterday".

"In this negotiation, if we want to force Boris Johnson's hand, we need to prepare for no-deal and show that we're not scared", added European diplomat, on condition of anonymity on Thursday.

"He reiterated the message he delivered in the House of Commons yesterday: Parliament has rejected the Withdrawal Agreement three times and so the United Kingdom must fully prepare for the alternative - which is to leave without a deal on October 31", the spokesman said in a statement. It is not going to pass.

"It must be clearly understood that the way to the deal goes by way of the abolition of the backstop", he said, while also threatening to withhold the exit payment of 39 billion pounds ($49bn) that May agreed to if there was no deal.

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The Elysee Palace said Mr Macron and Mr Johnson will "speak about Brexit in the coming weeks, in compliance with the requirements of the European Union".

The phone conversation comes after the American ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, said relations between the USA and UK would be "sensational" now Mr Johnson was in Downing Street.

In Paris, Amelie de Montchalin, French state minister for European affairs, said on Friday there was no question of renegotiating the divorce deal but that the two sides still had much to talk about. "Calm yourself down. We should be fair with each other", Germany's Europe Minister, Michael Roth, told ZDF television.

He urged the bloc to "rethink" its opposition to a new deal, saying: "If they do not, we will, of course, have to leave the European Union without an agreement". -British free trade agreement.

"It's not us who want there to be a before and an after. What we're trying to say is that in this agreement we are saying "Here is how we separate" and for me the key, what I'd like to do in the weeks to come, is to pass that stage and negotiate calmly how we can work afterwards".

Johnson will focus on health, education and infrastructure, after European Union leaders rebuffed his calls to renegotiate the Brexit deal struck by his predecessor Theresa May past year.

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