Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson, in a speech in front of the reporters ahead of their meetings in Paris on Thursday, gave two opposite statements amid Brexit process, CNN informed.
The two men were adamant in their demands – the British Prime Minister requested the EU to reopen the Brexit agreeement, but the French President did not agree with him stating that this is not a possible option.
“We will not find a new withdrawal agreement within 30 days which will be very different from the existing one,” he stated, reiterating his stance that Brexit is “not the choice of the European Union.”
Johnson’s trip to Paris was aimed at persuading the European Union to change its position on Brexit, insisting that it must ditch the so-called Irish backstop.
“The Irish backstop (clauses) are not simply technical constraints but vital guarantees for the preservation of stability in Ireland and the integrity of the single market which is the basis of the European Project,” Macron added.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” Johnson said.
The French President clarified that he will not be pushed to change his stance in talks with Johnson. According to Reuters, Macron on Wednesday issued warning that renegotiation is not an option, while adding that Britain could become the “junior partner of the United States” after a no-deal Brexit.
“Can the cost for Britain of a hard Brexit — because Britain will be the main victim — be offset by the United States of America? No. And even if it were a strategic choice it would be at the cost of a historic vassalization of Britain,” Macron said.
The backstop clause is designed to prevent the return of a hard border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member. It was negotiated by Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May, but widely criticized by UK lawmakers who still need to ratify the deal to stop the country from crashing out of the bloc without an agreement.
On the other hand EU leaders are sure that if Johnson is eager to remove the backstop, he needs to provide a specific alternative proposal.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a joint news conference in Berlin stated that UK needs to present every idea it has in order to solve the backstop issue, adding that “it is not the job of the chancellor” to find that solution.
European Council President Donald Tusk stated on Tuesday that the backstop was “an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless and until an alternative is found.”
“Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support reestablishing a border. Even if they do not admit it,” Tusk added.
If a new plan is not revealed soon that would mean that UK is likely to get out of the union without an agreement. This situation might suggest that the country will be faced with an economic chaos, that could also spark food, medicine and fuel shortages.
Johnson has indicated he is ready to take the country out of the EU without a deal.