Michael Staines
Michael Staines

11.22 13 Sep 2019


Share this article


The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to meet with the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday.

A Downing Street spokesperson said the two men would discuss the ongoing Brexit impasse.

"The prime minister will be travelling to Luxembourg at lunchtime on Monday to hold talks with President Juncker on Brexit," she said.

"And afterwards the prime minister will meet with Prime Minister Bettel of Luxembourg."

It will mark the first time Mr Johnson has met the EC President since taking office in July.

A European Commission spokeswoman said the pair would sit down for a “working lunch.”

Juncker Johnson Brexit File photo of the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at EU headquarters in Brussels, 11-09-2019. Image: Virginia Mayo/AP/Press Association Images

Backstop

The UK Prime Minister continues to insist that he can strike a new deal with the EU by the crunch summit of leaders in mid-October; however, London and Brussels have both played down the chances of an imminent breakthrough on the backstop.

Mr Johnson has called for the backstop to be abolished and replaced with “alternative arrangements” while the EU has warned that it must remain in place unless and until another legally binding solution that provides the same level of protection against the return of a hard border can be found.

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he accepts that Mr Johnson is “acting in good faith” in terms of trying to strike a deal but warned that the gap is currently “very large.”

“What I can say is that we have some exploratory discussions underway with the British Government – and of course the EU taskforce is across them – as to what alternative arrangements might exist.

“We have always accepted that alternative arrangements might supersede the backstop but I think the gap is very big at the moment.”

He said the EU will “do absolutely everything we can to secure a deal.”

“We will fight for it until the very last minute – but not at any cost,” he said.

“The fundamental principle that we are trying to uphold here is that of the Good Friday Agreement. That we should not see Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland coming apart.

“We should not see divergence between the two parts of our Ireland or between the two communities there.”

On The Pat Kenny Show meanwhile, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney said Mr Johnson’s “aggressive approach” had shaken the peace process.

“That delicate balance that was responded to by a Good Friday Agreement that has done incredible things for this island is now certainly shaken by Brexit and the new and more aggressive approach towards delivering Brexit that this prime minister has brought,” he said.

"Bank robber"

It comes as the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said Mr Johnson would be acting like a "bank robber" if he ignored legislation obliging him to seek a Brexit extension.

Under new laws, passed last week, Mr Johnson will have to apply for an extension if he has not struck a deal by October 19th.

The UK Prime Minister has said he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than seek an extension and there has been some speculation that he will simply ignore the law.

Mr Bercow said that was a “non-starter” and warned that the only form of Brexit that will pass is one that the House of Commons “has explicitly endorsed.”

Meanwhile, the DUP has dismissed as “nonsense” claims it is ready to drop some of its red lines in order to strike a deal.


Share this article


Read more about

Boris Johnson Brexit Jean-Claude Juncker Juncker Luxembourg

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Ted Radio Hour

Ted Radio Hour

20:00-21:00

Share

Up next

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

21:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on