UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters he was willing to reach out to EU leaders on Brexit talks, but remained adamant that scrapping the Irish backstop would have to be part of any new deal while he was touring a Scottish naval base in Faslane on Monday.
«What we want to do is to make it absolutely clear [to EU leaders] that the backstop is no good, it's dead, it's got to go,» he said... Еще, adding that: «My assumption is that we can get a new deal.»
Johnson said there was momentum on both sides to come to a consensus on Britain's departure from the EU as soon as possible, but the prospect of a no-deal Brexit remained on the table.
«They've now got, I think, 29 members of the Brexit Party sitting in Strasbourg, not exactly full of the 'Ode to Joy,' they're not exactly going to want that situation to continue,» he remarked. «There's big incentive on both sides to get this thing done.»
Back in London, the prime minister's official spokeswoman said Johnson would not meet with EU leaders to re-negotiate a deal if they could not assure him the Irish backstop would be scrapped, despite having received formal invitations to meetings from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Johnson's stated assumption that a new deal is achievable stand in contrast to comments made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lanchester, Michael Gove, who the prime minister has placed in charge of no-deal planning.
Gove wrote in a newspaper article on Sunday that the government was «working on the assumption» of a no-deal Brexit.
mandatory credit: itn news