Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnson have spoken by phone this morning in their first contact since Boris Johnson took over as prime minister in Downing Street last Tuesday.
Mr Johnson informed Mr Varadkar that his government will approach any negotiations that take place in a spirit of friendship. Mr Varadkar told Johnson that alternative arrangements could replace the backstop in the future, but “thus far satisfactory options had yet to be identified and demonstrated”.
Mr Varadkar restated the need for both governments to be fully committed to the Good Friday Agreement, the protection of the peace process and the restoration of the Northern Ireland institutions.” Mr Varadkar invited Mr Johnson to Dublin to “share further their respective analyses on Brexit and to continue discussion of bilateral matters including Northern Ireland, the Good Friday Agreement and the Common Travel Area”.
While Boris Johnson is currently living up to his hard Brexiteer stance that appealed to Tory members across Britain to vote for him as the next leader and de-facto prime minister, he may soon learn that he will have to tone down his opposition to the backstop. Despite showing his opposition to the initially, Boris Johnson was one of the MPs that voted for Theresa May’s Brexit deal which included the backstop in March. At the moment, there are no alternative arrangements and the backstop is currently the best arrangement in place to continue the historical trading relationship between Britain and Ireland. If Boris Johnson wants Britain to leave the EU by the 31st October, with or without a deal, he must stick to the backstop for the sake of any future frictionless trading relationship with both the North and rest of Ireland.
The lesson for Boris Johnson is, stick to the plan with the EU or else suffer with the consequences of your opposition with a no-deal Brexit.