Brexit: Boris Johnson clashes with Irish leader Varadkar over backstop as EU stands firm over deal
Boris Johnson’s efforts to renegotiate Theresa May’s failed EU withdrawal agreement appear to be running into the sand, after Irish premier Leo Varadkar delivered a firm rebuff to his demand to ditch the controversial backstop.
The taoiseach became the latest in a string of EU leaders to resist the new PM’s efforts to secure the removal of the arrangement – designed to keep the Irish border open until alternative technological controls are in place – as the price of a deal on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Mr Varadkar said opponents of the backstop had failed to identify a viable alternative and told the PM that the remaining 27 EU states were “united” in their position that the withdrawal agreement reached last November cannot be reopened.
Despite UK ministers’ claims that border checkpoints could be avoided by the use of methods such as electronic customs declarations and trusted trader schemes, the taoiseach told Mr Johnson that satisfactory options “have yet to be identified and demonstrated”……..read more