Boris Johnson news LIVE: PM tells EU to scrap ‘anti-democratic’ backstop and ‘move quickly’ on new Brexit plans

Boris Johnson told EU leaders the so-called Irish backstop cannot form part of a Brexit withdrawal agreement, in a fresh appeal to Donald Tusk to scrap it. 

In a letter to the President of the European Council, the PM blasted the proposal as “anti-democratic” as he told  EU Council President Mr Tusk it was untenable. 

Details of the letter emerged after Mr Johnson and Irish premier Leo Varadakar spoke by phone for almost an hour on Monday evening, reportedly hitting a deadlock in discussions over the backstop. 

Meanwhile, Donald Trump said he and Mr Johnson had a “great discussion” in which they talked about moving “rapidly on a US-UK free trade deal” after Britain’s departure from the bloc.

The Standard is providing live updates on developments below…

Live Updates

Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly has attacked Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who he said is “more interested in playing cynical party political games” than in Brexit. 


Independent MP Luciana Berger, who co-ordinated a letter calling for MPs’ recall to Parliament, branded Boris Johnson’s plans “incredibly reckless”.

The Liverpool Wavertree MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

It’s very clear that the Prime Minister is taking us down a path which is reckless.

Every day something else comes out and in fact the letter that you refer to was put together before the project Yellowhammer report was leaked and so there’s even more reason now that Parliament should reconvene in order that we can hold the Prime Minister and his Government to account on all the plans that they are pursuing which are incredibly reckless.

Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly has said the PM has “made it clear” the backstop has been a “sticking point”.

He has said the PM and the Party want a deal. 

He said: 

The simple fact is the EU need to demonstrate a degree of flexibility.


The PM is set to see Angela Merkel in German tomorrow, Emmanuel Macron in France on Thursday, before consulting further world leaders at the G7 summit over the weekend.

The Irish government had told No10 the backstop was not up for negotiation prior to Mr Johnson’s call with the Taoiseach. 

Previously, when an upcoming meeting between the pair was confirmed, a spokesman for the Taoiseach said:

As has repeatedly been made clear, the withdrawal agreement and the backstop are not up for negotiation.

Any discussions on changes to the political declaration would occur between the UK and the EU.

Boris Johnson faces fresh calls to ensure there is no return to a hard border on the island of Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit. 

Read the latest.

US president Donald Trump has spoken about how Washington and London can move “rapidly” on a post-Brexit free trade deal.

Mr Trump said he had a “great discussion” with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday.

Read more here.

Writing to Mr Tusk, the PM said:

I propose that the backstop should be replaced with a commitment to put in place such arrangements as far as possible before the end of the transition period, as part of the future relationship.

I also recognise that there will need to be a degree of confidence about what would happen if these arrangements were not all fully in place at the end of that period.

We are ready to look constructively and flexibly at what commitments might help, consistent of course with the principles set out in this letter.





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