Brexit Live Updates: John Bercow to Step Down as Speaker – The New York Times

Prime Minister Boris Johnson began the week in a different European capital, Dublin. But the message was the same as it was last week in London: His vow to leave the European Union without a deal was a non-starter.

“There’s no such thing as a clean break — or just getting it done,” the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said to Mr. Johnson, throwing his own words back at him.

On a chilly, gray day, with the Irish and British flags flapping behind them, Mr. Varadkar and Mr. Johnson both spoke of the need to find solutions. But the gulf between them seemed wide.

The Irish border remains the biggest barrier to a Brexit deal. All sides want to avoid the imposition of significant checks between Ireland, a member of the European Union, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. A hard border could renew sectarian tensions that raged for decades.

Mr. Johnson has rejected the so-called backstop agreement reached by his predecessor, Theresa May, which would all but keep Northern Ireland inside the single European market for a few years, so that Ireland would not have to inspect goods flowing in from the north.

Mr. Johnson quashed any expectations that he had brought new proposals. He simply restated the case that he made last week to British lawmakers.

“We must get Brexit done because the U.K. must come out on Oct. 31, or else I fear permanent damage will be done to confidence in our democracy in the U.K,” Mr. Johnson said in Dublin on Monday. “I know that this problem of Brexit was not, to be perfectly frank, a conundrum that Ireland ever wished for.”


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