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Tuesday 20th March 2018

EU Dismisses Johnson Demands to Reopen Brexit Negotiations


7Dnews London

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:02 GMT

The back and forth between the European Union and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson continued on Tuesday, August 20th, with the EU saying parts of Johnson’s proposal to reopen negotiations were "incorrect" or "misleading".

The EU Commission and Council issued a diplomatic note to the EU 27 nations, strongly urging them not to give in to Johnson's demand that the legal withdrawal agreement negotiated with his predecessor Theresa May be changed at this late stage, AP reported.

Only one day prior, Johnson insisted late on Monday that the EU re-open Brexit negotiations, saying they should scrap "anti-democratic" provisions for the Irish border that he said would threaten the peace process in Northern Ireland. Johnson, who has made similar statements in the past, delivered his demands to the EU in a letter to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.

But European Council chief Donald Tusk responded quickly and vigorously, defending the backstop, which is meant to act as an insurance policy of sorts to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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

The EU's diplomatic note said that, "the letter's suggestion that two, separate, legal, political, economic, and monetary jurisdictions already exist on the island and can be managed with an open border is misleading."

The exchange has caused the already huge rift between the sides to grow even wider, as Johnson is preparing to visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Thursday.

It is expected that the tension and difficult situation will culminate in more talks at the summit of G7 leaders this weekend in Biarritz, France.