Boris Johnson wants to ‘fix’ Brexit deal he once claimed was ‘oven-ready’

PUBLISHED: 17:09 07 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:09 07 June 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a freshly baked pie while wearing a 'get Brexit done' apron. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a freshly baked pie while wearing a 'get Brexit done' apron. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Boris Johnson reportedly wants to change the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement that he spent the general election promoting as ‘oven-ready’ and ‘ready-to-go’.

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In November the prime minister said: “This government has succeeded where no one thought we could. We not only got a new deal from our EU partners, but we got a great deal.”

He added: “After three and a half years of procrastination, we have a great new deal that is ready to go.”

But now the UK government reportedly now claims that the agreement has “unfair defects” after acknowledging most of the deal was copied from Theresa May’s own deal she agreed with the EU.

One of the only changes in the document that Johnson praised surrounded the Northern Irish backstop.

The Sunday Express reports that sources close to UK chief negotiator David Frost say that the PM is looking to “fix” the deal.

He wants to make changes despite setting a deadline of the end of June to make progress in talks before the end of the transition period in December.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t fix every defect with the withdrawal agreement last autumn – we had to prioritise abolishing the backstop and getting Brexit done in the face of a parliament that was trying to stop us,” the source said.

“We’ll now have to do our best to fix it but we’re starting with a clear disadvantage.”

On Friday the EU’s chief Brexit negiotator claimed that Johnson was trying to break the political declaration surrounding the withdrawal agreement.

But the UK government said otherwise - claiming that Barnier had misunderstood the purpose of the declaration.

“We’re committed to the political declaration, but we see it as guiding parameters – it is not a treaty,” they said.

“In my dictionary means parameters means limits, it doesn’t require us to agree to everything in it.”


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