Verhofstadt slams Johnson’s ‘bluster and political blame games’ on the backstop
PUBLISHED: 13:06 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:12 20 August 2019
Brian Lawless/PA Images / Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator has tweeted a withering response to Boris Johnson’s latest attempts to get the EU to drop the Irish backstop from the Withdrawal Agreement.
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The prime minister has written to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, demanding that they agree an alternative.
But Guy Verhofstadt said he does not see any majority in EU parliament for this and that time is running out for "bluster and political blame games".
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He tweeted: "I don't see any majority in the [European Parliament] to remove the backstop from the Withdrawal Agreement. It is a vital insurance policy, negotiated in good faith & supported by the people of the Island of Ireland. The time for bluster & political blame games is fast running out."
Johnson has been depending on the threat of a "do or die" no-deal Brexit to leverage the EU into conceding changes to the agreement.
He was criticised for accusing pro-EU MPs of emboldening the EU in an anti-Brexit "collaboration", effectively blaming Remain MPs for the possibility a no-deal Brexit.
WATCH: Johnson accuses Remain MPs of 'collaboration' with the EU to stop Brexit
Tusk has already responded to Johnson's demands, saying the prime minister had not provided a "legal operational solution" to prevent the return of a hard border, adding: "Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support reestablishing a border. Even if they do not admit it."
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