President Trump: “They have not treated the UK very well. (…) We are going to see if we can work something out.”
Ahead of his European trip, President Donald Trump has supported British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he tries to negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the European Union. “That’s a very tough bargain they are driving, the European Union. We are going to see if we can work something out,” President Trump said on Wednesday. The U.S. President will be in France this weekend to attend the annual Group of Seven (G-7) summit.
The comment came as Prime Minister Johnson met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to find a solution to the Brexit impasse. With just 70 days to the October 31 deadline, Germany and France are refusing to renegotiate the Brexit terms offered by the EU. In case the EU fails to offer a better deal, Prime Minister Johnson has threatened a no-deal Brexit, ending existing trade and immigration agreements between London and Brussels.
Chancellor Merkel refused to offer any assurance to the visiting British Prime Minister on Wednesday. Today, French President reiterated a similar position while receiving premier Johnson at the Champs-Élysées. Germany and France are offering a united front to force Britain to accept the terms offered by the EU. “Have no doubt that the French and German positions — and elsewhere — are the same. There’s not the thickness of a cigarette paper between us,” a French presidency staffer confirmed.
The news agency Reuters reported today’s talks between President Macron and Prime Minister Johnson:
French President Emmanuel Macron firmly told Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday that there was not enough time to negotiate a wholly new Brexit divorce deal.
On his first foreign trip since winning the premiership a month ago, Johnson warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Macron that they will face a potentially disorderly no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31 unless the European Union does a new deal.
Britain’s destiny lay in Johnson’s hands alone, Macron said, adding that while no-deal was not a scenario desired by the EU the bloc would be ready for such an eventuality.
“I want to be very clear: in the month ahead, we will not find a new withdrawal agreement that deviates far from the original,” the French leader said in the Elysee Palace courtyard alongside Johnson.
But he extended a hand to Johnson, adding: “Nobody is going to wait until Oct. 31 without trying to find a good solution.”
Johnson told Macron that he wanted a Brexit deal and believed it was still possible to reach one in time for the Oct. 31 deadline.
The EU is not the only one playing tough. Prime Johnson has vowed to take back control of the country’s immigration system — currently restrained by EU regulations — and ban criminal migrants from entering the UK from the EU countries after the October 31 deadline. “Boris Johnson will change the rules to allow UK border officials to turn any EU criminals who have previously been jailed for a year or more, sweeping away EU regulations that allowed any EU national entry unless they were a threat to public safety,” London-based Daily Telegraph reported on Monday quoting a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister.
As the UK enters the final phase of leaving the EU after three years of tenuous negotiations, President Trump has once again offered support to bolster London’s position. Last week, President Trump dispatched the U.S. national security adviser, John Bolton, to London to reiterate the U.S. commitment to a comprehensive U.S.-UK trade deal. “The main purpose of the visit really is to convey President Trump’s desire to see a successful exit from the European Union for the United Kingdom on October 31, to offer to be of help in any way that we can and to express his hope we can have a fully comprehensive bilateral trade agreement with the United Kingdom as soon as possible,” Bolton said.
With Germany and France refusing to budge, and Johnson-led government committed to leaving the EU in ten weeks time, a no-deal Brexit looks likelier than ever. Despite media painting a nightmare scenario and the EU leaders refusing to publicly accept the reality, the EU governments and European corporate sector are gearing up for a no-deal Brexit.
The EU has used every trick in the book to stall the Brexit, but it can’t keep a country the size of Britain within the bloc against the wishes of its people and the elected government.
[Cover image via YouTube]
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