Varadkar: Backstop renegotiation will not be on agenda for Johnson meeting

Varadkar: Backstop renegotiation will not be on agenda for Johnson meeting

The border backstop will not be up for renegotiation at a planned meeting between the Prime Minister and Taoiseach, the Government has insisted.

While the encounter between Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar, which is set for early September, will focus on the Brexit impasse and Northern Ireland issues, Dublin was keen to stress that changes to the Withdrawal Agreement would not be countenanced.

Brussels and London remain at loggerheads over the prospect of fresh Brexit negotiations.

Boris Johnson will join Leo Varadkar in Dublin for Brexit talks (Rui Vieira/PA)
Boris Johnson will join Leo Varadkar in Dublin for Brexit talks (Rui Vieira/PA)

The UK government has said any new negotiations must focus on developing an alternative to the Withdrawal Agreement.

EU leaders insist the deal cannot be reopened but will engage on potential amendments to the Political Declaration on the future relationship between the UK and the bloc.

Last week, Mr Varadkar said the invite to Mr Johnson to join him in Dublin for talks on Brexit and other issues had “no preconditions”.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach said on Sunday: “The Taoiseach has invited the British Prime Minister to Dublin for talks on Northern Ireland and Brexit.

“Their offices are in contact to agree a date for these talks in the coming weeks.

“Such a meeting would give both sides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of their respective positions.

“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.”

The Irish border backstop continues to be a sticking point in the Brexit negotiations (Niall Carson/PA)
The Irish border backstop continues to be a sticking point in the Brexit negotiations (Niall Carson/PA)

Mr Johnson has insisted a Brexit deal is only possible if the backstop is scrapped.

The contentious mechanism is an insurance policy written into the withdrawal treaty that will ensure, come what may in future trade talks, that the Irish border will remain free-flowing post-Brexit.

It would see the UK, as a whole, enter into a customs union with the EU for an indefinite period and also see Northern Ireland adhere to EU single market rules on goods.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Kingspan readies €600m warchest to mitigate BrexitKingspan readies €600m warchest to mitigate Brexit

Getting new Brexit deal will not be easy, Boris Johnson warnsGetting new Brexit deal will not be easy, Boris Johnson warns

Green Cards no longer needed by Irish motorists in the UK after BrexitGreen Cards no longer needed by Irish motorists in the UK after Brexit

Migrants are always at risk of crossing a lineMigrants are always at risk of crossing a line

More in this Section

60 years of policing cooperation with UK will ‘fall away’ after no-deal Brexit60 years of policing cooperation with UK will ‘fall away’ after no-deal Brexit

Stormont vacuum ‘a problem’ in fight against dissidents, PSNI chief warnsStormont vacuum ‘a problem’ in fight against dissidents, PSNI chief warns

Spike Island and Cliffs of Moher shortlisted for World's Best Attraction awardSpike Island and Cliffs of Moher shortlisted for World's Best Attraction award

All Together Now promoters 'truly sorry' for traffic chaos at festivalAll Together Now promoters 'truly sorry' for traffic chaos at festival


Lifestyle

A parent coach says parents are often the best judge of how to care for their baby – and explains how they can learn to have faith in their intuition.Ask an expert: How can I know what’s best for my baby?

We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.August 23, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

Romantic florals to 1970s chic, fun femininity to gothic grunge —we showcase the top autumn/winter looks at Brown Thomas, with a focus on the most exciting and diverse designer labels.Coming at you: The top autumn/winter looks at Brown Thomas

RP O’Donnell says it is hard to find anywhere better than Boston to show your family a great time as he returns to a city he used to call homeA family friendly holiday guide to get the best out of beautiful Boston

More From The Irish Examiner