Boris Johnson vows to enter Brexit talks with ‘a lot of oomph’

Boris Johnson is headed to Germany for Brexit talks

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Boris Johnson has accused his European neighbours of being “a bit negative” ahead of Brexit talks with Germany and France.

He said there is a “big opportunity” for everyone to “come together” and take out the Irish backstop, which remains the biggest sticking point in negotiations.

“We will be looking at all the ways in which we can maintain frictionless trade at the Northern Irish border,” he said.

"And you know what, at the moment it is absolutely true that our friends and partners are a bit negative.”

On Tuesday European Council president Donald Tusk warned the backstop was “insurance to avoid a hard border” and said those against the backstop were not “proposing realistic alternatives”.

The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt supported Mr Tusk’s stance, and said any attempt to remove the “vital insurance policy” of the backstop would be rejected by MEPs.

“The time for bluster and political blame games is fast running out,” he said.

Mr Johnson will meet German chancellor Angela Merkel over dinner on Wednesday in the first of a series of meetings with European leaders on Brexit.

He will attend the G7 summit at the weekend where he will hold his first face-to-face meeting with Donald Trump since he became Prime Minister.

It comes as Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said UK ministers and officials will no longer attend most European Union meetings from September 1.

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