Boris Johnson accepts Irish invitation to break Brexit deadlock
Boris Johnson has reportedly accepted an invitation to meet his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, to break the Brexit deadlock over the Irish backstop.
Sterling will begin this week trading at near-decade lows against the euro and US dollar as investors and traders increasingly see a no-deal Brexit as more than likely.
Johnson has insisted that while he wants to leave the UK with a deal, the UK will leave the EU “come what may, do or die” on the deadline of 31 October.
Varadkar, the Taoiseach, had a phone conversation with Johnson a week after he was appointed Prime Minister following the Tory leadership contest.
Read more: Michael Gove says government will spend ‘whatever it takes’ to prepare for a no-deal Brexit
The pair clashed over the Irish backstop – the insurance policy designed to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland by keeping the UK in a temporary customs union with the EU.
Varadkar insisted it was an essential part of the withdrawal agreement, which the EU has repeatedly said cannot be renegotiated, while Johnson insisted that it mist be abolished.
Read more: Boris Johnson clashes with Leo Varadkar over Irish backstop
Government sources told the Sunday Telegraph that dates for a bilateral meeting between the two leaders were currently being discussed.
Johnson is due to meet EU leaders at the G7 in the French city of Biarritz on 24 August, and a meeting of the European Council of 17 October, just two weeks before the Brexit deadline of 31 October.