Boris Johnson calls on government to renegotiate Brexit deal and remove Irish backstop
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Boris Johnson calls on government to renegotiate Brexit deal and remove Irish backstop

BORIS JOHNSON has called on Theresa May to renegotiate her Brexit deal with Brussels and remove the "appalling constraints" of the Irish backstop.

Johnson made the comments in a column for the Daily Telegraph in which he called on the Prime Minister to "finally show some steel and determination" when it came to negotiations.

"We don't want the appalling constraints of the Irish backstop," Johnson said.

"With their instinctive feeling for the realities of power, MPs can see how the backstop works as a trap - forcing us to choose between the effective break-up of the Union with Northern Ireland and the wholesale subjection of the UK to Brussels.

"So when tomorrow night many MPs vote - as I devoutly hope they will - to protect our democracy and our union by throwing out this deal, a huge proportion will justifiably cite the backstop as the reason for their decision."

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"We need to go back to Brussels and do what they have been expecting all along - and that is finally show some steel and determination," he added.

"We are told that the EU does not even like the backstop. Well, if the EU doesn't like it, and the UK government doesn't like it, and the British people don't like it, why on earth is it there? Let us get rid of it and move on."

The comments echo those made by Johnson during an appearance on The Andrew Marr Show where the Conservative MP urged the UK to move forward with Brexit plans but remove the backstop from the process.

Marr labelled Johnson's suggestion as "fantasy politics" - but Johnson was undaunted.

"Let me suggest to you, gently, Andrew, that every single EU negotiation concludes in exactly this way," he replied.

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"The horses change places in the final furlong," Johnson continued. "This is where the deals are done. Nothing is over until it's over.

"If the Prime Minister is able to go back to Brussels this week and say, 'I'm afraid that the Irish backstop solution that you have come up with is very unpopular; not just with the country but also with the House of Commons', and if the House of Commons gives us a powerful mandate to change that backstop, then I think, as Romano Prodi, the former EU Commissioning President has said, they will listen.

"What they want is the best possible deal with the UK, a deal that keeps their goods and services flowing on either side of the channel," he added.

"Neither side wants to go out on a no-deal Brexit."