French President Against Reopening Brexit Agreement
When Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson spoke to reporters ahead of their meeting in Paris on Thursday, they stood side by side but sounded as if they were living in parallel universes, CNN wrote in a comment.
Macron said that he’s often portrayed as the “hard man” in Brexit negotiations. But there is little time left to alter the existing deal substantively, he said. “We will not find a new withdrawal agreement within 30 days which will be very different from the existing one”, CNN reported.
Johnson’s Paris visit was the second leg of a trip aimed at pushing the European Union to shift its position on Brexit. The PM insists the EU must ditch the so-called Irish backstop — a demand that has so far fallen on deaf ears among the bloc’s leaders, according to CNN.
“The Irish backstop (clauses) are not simply technical constraints but vital guarantees for the preservation of stability in Ireland and the integrity of the single market which is the basis of the European Project,” Macron added. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” Johnson said.
But when asked what the plan was, the prime minister fell short of delivering a concrete answer.
Instead, he referred to “an excellent paper” published by a group of British lawmakers that outlined alternative solutions earlier this year. However, that proposal has already been rejected as unworkable by the European Union, American TV CNN comments.
It was always going to be a tough meeting for Johnson. The French president made it clear earlier that he won’t be persuaded to change his position in talks with Johnson.
According to Reuters, Macron on Wednesday warned renegotiation was “not an option that exists,” adding that Britain could become the “junior partner of the United States” after a no-deal Brexit.
“Can the cost for Britain of a hard Brexit — because Britain will be the main victim — be offset by the United States of America? No. And even if it were a strategic choice it would be at the cost of a historic vassalization of Britain,” Macron said.