German Chancellor Angela Merkel has challenged Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to come up with a new plan for Brexit in 30 days.German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Merkel told Johnson that he needed to come up with specific proposals on alternatives to the so-called Irish backstop — the divisive part of the Brexit deal that the UK government wants to abandon — after he doubled down on a push to remove it without providing any further details.
Speaking at a joint news conference in Berlin on Wednesday evening Merkel said the “UK has to tell us what ideas it has” to solve the backstop issue, adding that “it is not the job of the chancellor” to find a solution.
“We always said we would find a solution in the coming two years,” Merkel said. “But possibly, you might find the solution in 30 days, why not? And then we would be a step forward,” she added, stressing that every effort should be made to establish a clear plan for the future relationship between Britain and the EU.
However, Johnson did not suggest any alternative plan.
European Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday 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.
A lack of a Plan B would mean the UK is more likely to crash out of the EU without a deal. This would, according to the government’s own forecasts, plunge the country into economic chaos. It could also spark food, medicine and fuel shortages.
Johnson has indicated he is prepared to take the country out of the EU without an agreement. The French government spokesperson told CNN that “in view of Johnson’s position on [the] Irish backstop, the baseline scenario now seems to be no-deal [Brexit].”