United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that British negotiators will be holding regular talks with European Union officials twice-a-week over the coming month, in an attempt to renegotiate an agreement with regards to Brexit, an agreement that Britain’s parliament has rejected on numerous occasions.
Ever since he got the role of being Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has prided himself on promising to take Britain out of the European Union by 31 October, even if it means that there is no transition deal.
Johnson has also demanded that the EU removes the existing deal’s backstop, part of a deal to ensure that an open border remains between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which will keep Northern Ireland connected to the EU in some way or another.
Johnson stated that “While I have been encouraged with my discussions with EU leaders over recent weeks that there is a willingness to talk about alternatives to the anti-democratic backstop, it is now time for both sides to step up the tempo.”
He also added that “The increase in meetings and discussions is necessary if we are to have a chance of agreeing a deal for when we leave on October 31st.”
The current backstop that exists in the deal would require Northern Ireland, as well as possibly the rest of the United Kingdom, to continue following several EU regulations if there are difficulties in trade talks, thus avoiding customs checks on the Ireland-Northern Ireland border.
Whilst the United Kingdom has stated that technological alternatives to border checks will be possible by the time that such a backstop may be needed, Johnson has given no details with regards to the matter, resulting in the EU feeling sceptical about the matter.
Adding to the previous statement, the British government also said that “Discussions so far have shown that the two sides remain some distance apart on key issues but that both sides are willing to work hard to find a way through.”
The talks will be held in Brussels over the next month, and the British side will be led by lead negotiator David Frost.