Brexit: Donald Tusk rejects Boris Johnson's demands to ditch Irish backstop

Mail Online | 8/20/2019 | Jack Maidment;Richard Spillett for MailOnline;John Stevens;Larisa Brown for the Daily Mail
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Donald Tusk and other EU officials have rejected Boris Johnson's new plea to ditch the Irish backstop just hours after he wrote to the European Council president.

The British Prime Minister last night told the EU that the backstop is 'simply unviable' and should be replaced with a new legal commitment to avoid the return of a hard border.

Mr - Tusk - Today - Anyone - Backstop

But Mr Tusk said today anyone opposing the backstop without a 'realistic' plan was actually 'supporting the reestablishment of a border' because there was currently no alternative.

He wrote on Twitter: 'The backstop is an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless and until an alternative is found.

Backstop - Alternatives - Fact - Support - Border

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

The dismissal of Mr Johnson's plea was expected after briefings by diplomats in European capitals suggested his ideas would receive an icy reception in Brussels.

EU - Diplomat - Politico - 'It - Letter

One EU diplomat told Politico: 'It’s clear from the letter that renegotiation is the last thing the British government wants. Brexit started and ends with preservation of the Tory party.'

Meanwhile a French official told the website that Mr Johnson's alternative plans were 'a joke'.

EU - Source - Guardian - Letter - Moving

Another EU source meanwhile told The Guardian that the letter 'is a total moving of the goal posts on an issue of great importance and sensitivity that affects the lives of people on the island of Ireland'.

The response comes after Mr Johnson wrote a forthright letter to Donald Tusk, saying the backstop is 'anti-democratic', unsustainable as the basis for a long-term relationship and put the Good Friday Agreement at risk.

'The - Problems - Backstop - Run - Reality

He wrote: 'The problems with the backstop run much deeper than the simple political reality that it has three times been rejected by the House of Commons. The truth is that...
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