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In Europe, Boris Johnson pressures leaders to return to Brexit negotiations


In Europe, Boris Johnson pressures leaders to return to Brexit negotiations

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Photo: Steffi Loos-Pool/Getty

British PM Boris Johnson will meet with France’s Emmanuel Macron in Paris today in a bid to push for reopening Brexit negotiations.

Mr Johnson’s first overseas trip since seizing power in July included talks with Germany’s Angela Merkel yesterday and will culminate with the G7 leaders’ summit starting Saturday.

European leaders have repeatedly rejected reopening Brexit negotiations, despite Johnson’s threats that the country will leave without an agreement. On Sunday, Whitehall announced the repeal of the European Communities Act, which took Britain into the European Community (the forbearer to the EU) 46 years ago and gives Brussels law supremacy. The law is set to come into effect on October 31.

The Johnson government is facing pressure to recall lawmakers from their summer holidays after a leaked government report warned of food and medicine shortages under no deal. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he wants to call a no confidence vote in Johnson’s government, but the move would not leave much time to topple to the government as Johnson would have 14 days to win a vote before a general election is called.

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The EU will likely maintain its position of rejecting further discussions over the existing Brexit deal.  With a no-deal Brexit increasingly likely, Johnson will then have to resort to harsher measures to force the EU back to the negotiating table. He has already threatened to end freedom of movement under no deal, and he could ramp up measures to include scrapping plans to avoid a hard border with Ireland.

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