Written by Reuters
13 Feb, 2019 | 3:13 pm
Reuters – The United Kingdom needs to secure changes to Brexit deal’s Irish border backstop such as a time limit and an exit mechanism, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday (February 11).
“I think I would want to look very carefully at what was being proposed and it would have to give the United Kingdom a UK-sized exit from the backstop,” he said.
When asked, he did not specify that the backstop had to be removed entirely in an apparent softening of his opposition to the deal, having previously called on the British Prime Minister Theresa May to scrap the backstop entirely.
Johnson’s comments come after Conservative Party leader May rejected the idea of targeting a customs union with the European Union, pouring cold water on hopes from some that she could shift her Brexit policy to win over the opposition Labour Party.
Last week, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn set out the conditions under which he would instruct his party to support an exit deal in parliament. Foremost was a demand that May seek a “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union”.
But May’s office published her reply to Corbyn late on Sunday (February 10), showing little appetite for a U-turn which would risk splitting her fractious party by ruling out the scope for Britain to strike its own trade deals around the world.
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