Merkel hosts UK PM Johnson in Berlin as Brexit drama grows

Priti Patel has signalled Freedom of movement by European Union nationals into the UK will be end overnight from October 31 in the event of a no deal Brexit

Pound falls to $1.20 as Boris Johnson sets out Brexit demands

Tensions between the neighbors have heightened in recent days as Johnson penned a four-page letter to European Union officials demanding the removal of the backstop - the measure to ensure an open border is maintained.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discusses Brexit in his first statement to Parliament.

"However, on closer inspection it still appears that the EU's position is largely unchanged in so far as they want to keep the Irish border backstop in the Withdrawal Agreement as insurance and remain committed to finding viable alternative arrangements so that the backstop may not ever need to be used".

After a defiant Mr Johnson said the controversial Irish backstop had to be removed from the withdrawal agreement, Ms Merkel said the mechanism has always been "fallback position" and would only come into effect if no other solution could be agreed that would protect the "integrity of the single market".

Still, the EU didn't reject outright Johnson's letter to senior European officials setting out his objections to the plan for the Irish border, which will become the U.K.'s new land frontier with the bloc.

The incentive to improve ties with the United Kingdom ahead of developments in parliament do not make sense as there is the prospect of the Johnson regime being deposed in a no-confidence vote. "Even if they do not admit it".

Johnson is set to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, followed by a face-to-face with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday ahead of the G7 summit in Biarritz. Some pro-Brexit politicians have said it would make Britain a "vassal state".

Johnson said it could be replaced with a commitment to "alternative arrangements" to be put in place "as far as possible before the end of the transition period".

Earlier this month, senior Trump aide John Bolton visited London carrying a message from his boss that the USA would set aside foreign policy differences and focus on doing whatever it could to help Britain through the Brexit process.

He wrote in the The Guardian Journal: "In fact, the reality of a post-Brexit US-UK alliance could be just the opposite of the false promises being peddled by Trump and Bolton: the longer-term impacts of Brexit could include a significantly downgraded relationship between the two nations".

Johnson wants to scrap a contentious clause created to prevent the return of checks along the Irish border, which London says could leave Britain tied to the bloc indefinitely. The British government may be forced into a hard Brexit deal by the threat of the Brexit party and it is unclear if the United Kingdom will be able to exit.

Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert stressed that an orderly Brexit would be "in every respect preferable" to a disorderly withdrawal of Britain, but that Germany was also preparing for the worst-case scenario.

The warning of a "handling and reputational risk" is in a Home Office discussion paper for ministers discussing "no deal" Brexit preparations.

They added that "Ideally though, the European Union would formally propose it rather than us [so] it is more acceptable to the Irish".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is painted as the class clown, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is depicted as the ever-present powerhouse of European politics.

The PM arrived in Berlin today to kick-start talks to find an alternative to the Irish backstop - a contingency measure negotiated by his predecessor Theresa May to get an exit deal over the line.

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