Brexit: Boris Johnson says ‘anti-democratic’ backstop must be scrapped

Brexit: Boris Johnson says ‘anti-democratic’ backstop must be scrapped

The PM calls the Irish border plan “unviable”, but the EU says he hasn’t offered realistic alternatives.

Boris Johnson has told the EU the Irish border backstop must be scrapped as it is “unviable” and “anti-democratic”.

In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, the PM also said the backstop risked undermining the Northern Irish peace process.

But Mr Tusk said those opposing the arrangement without “realistic alternatives” supported re-establishing a hard border.

This was the reality “even if they do not admit it”, he added.

“The backstop is an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless and until an alternative is found,” Mr Tusk tweeted.

“This has been the clear and consistent EU position, it remains so,” added Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in response to the tweet.

The European Commission said Mr Johnson’s letter did not contain a “legally operational solution” to prevent a hard Irish border.

“It does not set out what any alternative arrangements could be,” a spokeswoman said, and “recognises that there is no guarantee such arrangements would be in place by the end of the transitional period”.

The backstop is part of the withdrawal agreement, negotiated by former PM Theresa May with Brussels but rejected three times by MPs.


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