UK PM Johnson to meet French President Macron to discuss Brexit

UK PM Johnson to meet French President Macron to discuss Brexit

Agency News

Paris, Aug 22: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a discussion on Brexit with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday. Macron has dismissed UK's request to renegotiate the Brexit withdrawal agreement and scrap the Irish backstop as “not an option”. Mr Macron said it was not possible to agree to Johnson’s demand to scrap the Irish backstop which had been negotiated by Britain during two years of talks. Doing so would give the EU an unacceptable choice between protecting its internal market or preserving peace in Ireland, the Guardian reported.

France believes a no-deal exit is now the most likely scenario, the newspaper quoted an official in Macron’s office as saying. According to Mr Macron, there should be no reason to grant a further delay to Brexit unless there is a significant political change in the UK, like a snap poll or new referendum. French officials said if the UK requested an extension in order to hold a new election, the EU would probably allow it.

The EU has repeatedly said the withdrawal deal negotiated during Theresa May's regime cannot be renegotiated. Earlier, during a press conference in Berlin with Mr Johnson on Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated that an alternative might be possible, stressing that the onus was on the UK to find a workable plan, BBC reported. The UK is due to leave the EU on October 31, with no deal being the default option. UNI