LONDON-UK. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will only start personal meetings with EU leaders if they agree to change key aspects of the agreement, which the other 27 Member States have rejected so far stood against the euro in nearly two years.
Since joining the Downing Street last week, Mr. Johnson has tightened the rhetoric on leaving the EU without an agreement paving the way for October 31, standard position, unless a previously negotiated divorce agreement is material will be changed.
During a visit to Scotland on Monday, Mr Johnson said there was "room" for a new deal, but only if the EU worked together. Earlier in the day, his spokeswoman announced the Prime Minister's decision to reject meetings, unless EU leaders changed their bargaining position.
The pound fell more than 1
Mr. Johnson said earlier that the EU must believe he was ready to make a commercially harmful no-deal to find better divorce conditions.
So far, Mr. Johnson has clarified what he does not like about the Brexit deal, but has not set out in detail what he would prefer instead, adds Ms. Hobolt. Meanwhile, the ruling Conservative Party does not have a majority in parliament, so the EU should not make concessions to Mr. Johnson just to see Parliament again reject a withdrawal treaty.
Mr. Johnson's government is preparing an advertising campaign to encourage companies to prepare for the abrupt end of over four decades of seamless trade with the EU. A specially set up committee of high-level ministers to ensure that the government is prepared to leave the country is meeting for the first time on Monday. In particular, he has not yet called Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, whose country along with Britain would be hit hardest by a disorderly Brexit as it maintains close trade ties with Britain. Britain's only land border with the EU is on the island of Ireland.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said on Monday that the EU was "persistent" in negotiations.
The pound was at its lowest level since Monday against the euro on Monday since September 2017, trading at GBP1.10.
"Crucial to the decline in the pound [in recent days] was that the likelihood of parliamentary elections increased and the likelihood of Brexit increasing without a deal," said Fritz Louw of MUFG Bank Ltd.
. Johnson also has to do with another union: the United Kingdom. In his first full week in power, Mr. Johnson visits Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to reassure voters that abrupt Brexit will not damage the ties that hold the UK together.
Scottish voters overwhelmingly rejected Britain's idea of leaving the EU during the 2016 referendum. The Scottish National Party uses Brexit as a pretext for a second referendum on independence and declares that the country does not want to leave the EU.
Northern Ireland, meanwhile, could bear the brunt of economic disruption if the UK leaves the bloc without a divorce treaty. According to analysts, this could potentially lead to a longer-term shift towards reunification with the Republic of Ireland. Mr. Johnson, who has given himself the title of "Trade Union Minister," said on Monday that keeping together across the UK would be beneficial.
For Mr. Johnson, Scotland is an electoral problem. The ruling Conservative Party has 13 seats in Scotland. However, if Mr Johnson leaves the EU easily, these seats could quickly disappear. Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson warned on Sunday that while she supports Mr. Johnson, she can not support her tough Brexit stance.
So far, the British government has rejected requests from the Scottish National Party to re-vote on Scotland's withdrawal from the UK. In 2014, Scotland voted to remain part of the UK during a referendum.
The situation is particularly sensitive in Northern Ireland. An important goal for both the UK and the EU is to avoid controls at the border between Northern Ireland in the UK and the Republic of Ireland in the EU. The divorce agreement includes a provision ensuring that Britain remains in a customs union with the EU until such a trade agreement can be signed to ensure a smooth flow of goods across that border.
Mr. Johnson says a provision is unacceptable because the UK can not unilaterally break the agreement.
"It's dead, it has to go," said the PM on Monday, referring to the provision known as "Irish backstop."
Dublin and Brussels consider relegation a key to maintaining peace and security on the island of Ireland, where the border has been a focal point of political violence in the past Irish nationalists and pro-British trade unionists say that a referendum on the unification of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland, if there is public support for such a step. There is currently no public support for a referendum of this kind, according to the British government.
"People who call you moderate nationalists or moderate Catholics who are more or less satisfied with the status quo Look towards a united Ireland", said the Irish leader Varadkar. "And I think there are more and more liberal Protestants and trade unionists wondering where they feel at home."
– Anna Isaac and Paul Hannon from London contributed to this article.
Please contact Max Colchester at [email protected]
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