Brexit: Johnson arrives in Paris for talks with Macron
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Boris Johnson is in Paris for Brexit talks with Emmanuel Macron, with the French president saying the UK’s vote to quit the EU must be respected.
But he added that the Ireland-Northern Ireland backstop plan was “indispensable” to preserving political stability and of the single market.
The backstop, opposed by Mr Johnson, aims to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit
Mr Johnson said that with “energy and creativity we can find a way forward”.
On Wednesday German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the onus was on the UK to find a workable plan.
Why is the Irish border blocking Brexit?
And what is the backstop?
What did we learn from Boris Johnson’s letter to the EU?
UK Prime Minister Mr Johnson has said the backstop must be ditched if a no-deal exit from the EU is to be avoided.
If implemented, the backstop would see Northern Ireland staying aligned to some rules of the EU single market, should the UK and the EU not agree a trade deal after Brexit.
It would also see the UK stay in a single customs territory with the EU, and align with current and future EU rules on competition and state aid.
These arrangements would apply until both the EU and UK agreed they were no longer necessary. Brexit supporters fear this could leave the UK tied to the EU indefinitely.
The EU has repeatedly said the withdrawal deal negotiated by former PM Theresa May, which includes the backstop, cannot be renegotiated.
However, it has previously said it would be willing to “improve” the political declaration – the document that sets out the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
What is the withdrawal agreement?
Brexit: A really simple guide
Mr Macron said he was “very much confident” that the UK and EU would be able to find a solution within 30 days – a timetable suggested by Mrs Merkel – “if there is a good will on both sides”.