Boris Johnson Visits Angela Merkel To Call For No Backstop
21 August 2019, 11:11
Boris Johnson will visit Berlin today to discuss with Angela Merkel his proposal to scrap the backstop which he says is "anti-democratic" and must be removed to secure a deal.
Boris Johnson faces the challenge of convincing Angela Merkel to back his proposal, after the EU has so far rejected the possibility of any changes to the backstop.
Mr Johnson said the EU's response to his demands was "a bit negative".
But he is expected to reiterate his call for the Irish border backstop plan to be scrapped with Angela Merkel this afternoon.
The PM is ready to propose a new bilateral deal between London and Dublin to act as a bridge until stand-off border checks, known as "alternative arrangements", are ready.
In a letter to Donald Tusk yesterday the PM wrote: "The backstop should be replaced with a commitment to put in place [alternative arrangements] as far as possible before the end of the transition period, as part of the future relationship."
This is everything you need to know about what the backstop is and why it's so controversial:
The meeting in Berlin will be the PM's first in a series of meetings with European and world leaders over the coming days.
Mr Johnson will go to Paris for talks with President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday.
He will then hold further bilateral meetings with other leaders at the G7 summit in Biarritz this weekend.