The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has invited the new British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to visit the country “in the coming weeks” to talk about Brexit, according to EU requirements, in a telephone conversation they had Thursday night.
Sources from the Elysee Palace cited by the gala press have reported Friday that Macron called Johnson to congratulate him on his appointment as prime minister and express his satisfaction for “cooperation in bilateral, European and international affairs.”
“We want to work with Johnson on Brexit but we will not renegotiate the agreement”, Secretary of State for European Affairs Amélie de Monchalin told France 2.
For his part, the spokesman for Johnson has said that the ‘premier’ ratified to Macron what has been said in recent days “that he wants an agreement and will try with all his might to get an agreement, but that the Withdrawal Agreement -which already it has been rejected three times by the House of Commons – it will not be approved, which means that the Withdrawal Agreement must be reopened to abolish the backstop.”
The main obstacle for the British Parliament to give the green light to the Brexit agreement negotiated by the previous government of Theresa May and the EU is the so-called ‘backstop’, the mechanism devised by the parties to avoid a “hard border” in the Ulster after the divorce.
The government spokesman, quoted by Reuters, has advanced that Johnson will transfer the same idea in the telephone conversations he has in the coming days with his European counterparts. He already spoke on Thursday with the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who insisted that the current agreement is the “best and only possible” to avoid a chaotic Brexit.