Boris Johnson Holds Talks With Angela Merkel Over Brexit
21 August 2019, 17:44 | Updated: 21 August 2019, 17:57
Boris Johnson's told the German chancellor the Irish backstop must be removed from the Brexit deal. He wants Brussels to re-open negotiations despite being told previously that won't happen.
Speaking at a press conference between the two leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "Britain is leaving the European Union. We have said repeatedly from the German perspective that we very much regret this but it is fact.
"So what we now need to do is to shape Britain leaving the European Union in such a way that we continue to have very close relations between the UK and the EU."
Mrs Merkel added: "We are also prepared for a no-deal so, should this happen, this will or can happen, we are prepared for it.
"Obviously we also think of the many citizens, British citizens living currently in other countries of the European Union who also have to deal with the situation should Britain, from one day to the next, no longer be a member of the European Union."
Boris Johnson stressed that he wanted a Brexit deal but added: "Clearly we cannot accept the current Withdrawal Agreement, arrangements that either divide the UK or lock us into the regulatory and trading arrangements of the EU, the legal order of the EU, without the UK having any say on those matters.
"So we do need that backstop removed.
"But if we can do that then I am absolutely certain that we can move forward together."
The Prime Minister added that the UK was "absolutely dedicated to the protection of the rights of the 3.2 million EU nationals in our country who do so much, who contribute so much to our country, and of course, in particular, our German friends".