The abrupt letter outlines his demands on the Irish backstop as he brutally picks apart Mrs May’s deal, which suffered three humiliating defeats in the House of Commons before she threw in the towel.The letter begins with his position of attempting to secure a deal with the EU before telling Mr Tusk of the “uniquely deep ties” the UK has with the Republic of Ireland. He added Britain shares “a land border” with the nation.

The letter reads: “First, Ireland is the UK’s closest neighbour with whom we will continue to share uniquely deep ties, a land border, the common Travel Area, and much else besides.

“We remain, as we have always been, committed to working with Ireland on the peace process, and to furthering Northern Ireland’s security and prosperity.

“We recognise the unique challenges the outcome of the referendum poses for Ireland, and want to find solutions to the border which work for all.”

“Second, and flowing from the first, I want to re-emphasise the commitment of this Government to peace in Northern Ireland.

“The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, as well as being an agreement between the UK and Ireland, is a historic agreement between two traditions in Northern Ireland, and we are unconditionally committed to the spirit and letter of our obligations under it in all circumstances – whether there is deal with the EU or not.”

The Prime Minister goes on to lay down the law on what the UK wants.

He calls the backstop “anti-democratic and inconsistent with the sovereignty of the UK”.

He underlined the above part of the letter to mr Tusk.

He said: “The backstop locks the UK, potentially, indefinitely, into an international treaty which will bind us into a pistons union and which applies large areas of single market legislation in Northern Ireland.

“It places a substantial regulatory border, root in that treaty, between Northern Ireland and great Britain.”

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Mr Johnson suggests the backstop be replaced with a “commitment to put in place such arrangements as far as possible before the end of the transition period”.

The letter finished with a warning.

He said: “Time is very short. But the UK is ready to move quickly, and, given the degree of common ground already, I hope that the EY will be ready to do likewise.”

Mr Johnson’s letter comes the same day he was reported to have spoken to Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

The two spoke on the phone for nearly an hour today, sharing their perspective on the withdrawal agreement – and the Irish backstop. 

Mr Johnson continued to lay down the law over the backstop, which was ignored by Mr Varadkar.

The pair agreed to meet early September.

 



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