Boris Johnson has been warned by a leading ally from Emmanuel Macron that without a backstop there cannot be a Brexit deal with the European Union – nor future trade negotiations.
Johnson has insisted that he does not conclude an agreement with Brussels, including the Irish border stop, but the EU is convinced that the protocol cannot be changed or removed.
Nathalie Loiseau, the French former minister of Europe, said today that even if EU leaders agreed to dump the backstop, members of the European Parliament would never ratify such an agreement.
She also said that if Mr Johnson were to get Britain out of the bloc without an agreement, Brussels would probably refuse to enter into future trade negotiations, because crucial issues such as the payment of the £ 39 billion Brexit bill would be unresolved.
Mrs Loiseau said that the new British government will have to choose between accepting the existing withdrawal agreement – rejected three times by MPs – and a No Deal split without trade negotiations.
& # 39; You have changed your prime minister, but we have not changed our mind, & # 39; said Ms. Loiseau, now an MEP for the Macron En Marche party.
Her comments came to the fore when it turned out that Johnson had a six-person & # 39; war cabinet & # 39; of senior ministers responsible for delivering Brexit & # 39; with all possible means & # 39; to meet the current Halloween deadline.
Meanwhile, Michael Gove, the minister responsible for the No Deal emergency planning, said the government is now working from the & # 39; assumption & # 39; that there would be a bad break.
Mr. Gove said that a No Deal divorce & # 39; now a very real prospect & # 39; used to be.
Nathalie Loiseau, a MEP and a French former European minister, warned today that a Brexit without a deal would not mean trade negotiations between the EU and the UK
Emmanuel Macron, pictured yesterday in southern France, is believed to be powerful against granting a further Brexit extension
What is the Irish backstop and why is it so divided?
The so-called Irish border stop is one of the most controversial elements of the existing Brexit deal. This is what it means:
What is the backstop?
The backstop was invented to deliver on promises to keep the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland open, even if there is no comprehensive trade agreement between the UK and the EU.
The divorce agreement states that it will start automatically at the end of the transitional period of the Brexit if that agreement is not concluded.
It effectively keeps the UK in a customs union with the EU and Northern Ireland in both the customs union and the internal market.
This means that many EU laws continue to impose the UK, limiting its ability to enter into its own trade agreements. It also means legal controls of some goods crossing the Irish Sea.
Why did Ireland and the EU demand this?
As the UK left the customs union and the internal market, the EU said it needed guarantees that people and goods circulating within its border – in this case in Ireland – complied with its rules.
This is covered by the Brexit transition, which effectively maintains the status quo, and can in theory be done in the extended trade agreement between the EU and the UK.
But the EU said there had to be a backstop to cover what happens in every gap between the transition and the final deal.
Why do critics hate it?
Because Britain cannot decide when to leave the backstop.
Getting out – even if there is a trade agreement – can only happen if both parties agree and Brexiteers fear that the EU will unreasonably demand that the backstop continue to exist, so that EU legislation will continue to apply in Northern Ireland.
MPs from Northern Ireland also hate the legal border in the Irish Sea and insist that the UK be unreasonably divided.
Great Britain and the EU are now on a collision course over the Brexit, which is likely to end with a game of intense brinkmanship in the run-up to the current departure deadline.
Johnson wants to renegotiate the current divorce conditions and remove the backstop, while the EU insists that the existing deal is the best and only available deal.
The new prime minister has promised to do Brexit on October 31 & # 39; do or die & # 39; and with or without delivering a deal.
But Mrs. Loiseau said that leaving without a deal would have significant consequences.
She told Sky News that the UK was faced with a simple choice: & # 39; First, Boris Johnson is right about something: a decision has to be made quickly and implemented because three years of tension are many and perhaps too many.
& # 39; But the way the UK wants to leave the European Union, you have a choice, the House of Commons has a choice.
& # 39; There is a withdrawal agreement on the table that has been negotiated and signed by the previous government or there is a No Deal.
& # 39; Let me say it clearly: there is nothing in between, because you have the British Parliament, but we have the European Parliament and it would not ratify a withdrawal agreement without a backstop. & # 39;
Telling Mr Johnson believes that the EU could eventually give in to the backstop because of her desire to prevent a chaotic split, Ms. Loiseau said: “We want to prevent a No Deal and the withdrawal agreement is on the table. Why create a crisis if there is none? When is there a way out?
& # 39; The withdrawal agreement is about the past and the present and now we need to work on the future relationship and the only way forward is the withdrawal agreement.
& # 39; Or decide to stay in the European Union, which is a better choice, but it is your choice to make, not ours. & # 39;
She added: & # 39; The withdrawal agreement is not the devil as it was depicted. It is a reasonable compromise from both sides that gives us the opportunity to move forward. & # 39;
Mr Macron is considered the EU leader who is most opposed to a further Brexit delay.
Ms. Loiseau said she was still waiting for detailed new Brexit plans from the new Johnson government, because she said the EU needed more than & # 39; campaign and political speeches & # 39 ;.
Boris Johnson, pictured yesterday in Manchester, said the UK would do or die on October 31 & # 39; and will leave with or without a deal
She suggested that the EU would never agree to trade negotiations about the future relationship with Britain if the UK were to leave chaotic.
Johnson has suggested that the £ 39 billion Brexit account can be used as leverage or even withheld.
But Ms. Loiseau said: "If a No Deal were to come, future relations with the European Union would not be negotiated without clarity about Ireland, without clarity about payments due and without clarity about the protection of citizens .
& # 39; So it would take us back to where we are today. & # 39;
Her comments came when Mr. Gove wrote in The Sunday Times that No Deal was now the government's working hypothesis.
He said: & # 39; We still hope that they will change their mind, but we must assume that they will not.
& # 39; The prime minister is crystal clear, which means we have to prepare to leave the EU without agreement on October 31, and I fully support this approach. & # 39;
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