French President Emmanuel Macron is currently hosting Boris Johnson, who has embarked on his first foreign trip as UK prime minister, in Paris on Thursday, 22 August.
The backstop agreed in the Brexit deal is a guarantee of stability in Ireland and not simply a technical mechanism, said French President Emmanuel Macron, standing alongside UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside the Elysee Palace.
The French leader said that he respected the UK decision to withdraw from the EU, while adding that his position would always be to protect the European project.
Addressing the possibility of a no-deal scenario, Macron said that such an eventuality was never the bloc’s choice. But he said that it was the EU’s duty to be ready for it.
Touching upon the Brexit 31 October deadline, the French president said that nobody was ready to wait that long, demanding visible progress on the backstop issue within 30 days.
Macron also stressed that there cannot be any alterations to the withdrawal agreement.
Johnson said that the UK would not set up border checks between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland under any circumstances. According to Johnson, the two sides have sufficient time to work on an alternative solution to the border issue.
The UK Prime Minister believes that Britain can exit the EU without disrupting the integrity of the single market.
Boris Johnson embarked on his first official trip as UK Prime Minister on Wednesday. The UK prime minister is seeking alternative customs arrangements at the Irish border: however EU leaders repeatedly stressed that they do not want changes to the existing Brexit deal.
The United Kingdom was initially supposed to leave the European Union on March 29, but the UK parliament’s failure to approve May’s Brexit deal resulted in the deadline being moved to October 31. May’s failure was what ultimately forced her to resign, paving the path for Johnson to head the new government and take over the Brexit issue.