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    British Conservative Party Member of Parliament Boris Johnson speaks at a fringe event during the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre, in Birmingham, England, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018.

    Boris Johnson: EU Will Exploit Irish Backstop to 'Blackmail' Britain

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    Mr Johnson’s comments come as Theresa May attempts to win over Eurosceptical MPs to back her ailing Brexit agreement for another possible parliamentary vote this week.

    The former UK Foreign Secretary and ardent Brexiteer, Boris Johnson, has said that the European Union (EU) will exploit the issue of the Irish backstop to "blackmail" the UK during future Brexit talks.

    In his weekly column in the Telegraph, Mr Johnson has said that Theresa May's Brexit deal would be "detrimental" to the UK's bargaining position and future sovereignty, arguing that Britain is on the verge of becoming an "economic colony of Brussels."

    "Worst of all, the Irish backstop arrangement gives the EU an indefinite means of blackmail. They will be able to keep us locked in the customs union and large parts of the single market unless we are prepared to abandon Northern Ireland. They will use this blackmail to get their way throughout the negotiations, notably over the free movement of people," he added.

    Mr Johnson also asserted that the UK is in need of a huge tactical change in its approach toward negotiating with Brussels, saying that: "if we agree this deal and unless we have a radical change in our approach to the negotiations we face an even greater humiliation in the second phase. We have not found a convincing unilateral way out of the backstop. Unless we discover some willingness to resist, the diet of capitulation seems set to continue for at least two years."

    READ MORE: MPs: You Are Narcissistic, Leadership Ambulance Chasing, Double Crossing Frauds

    On the evening of Tuesday 12 March, Theresa May's Brexit deal was overwhelmingly struck down a second time in a parliamentary vote — 242 in favour to 391 against. Then, on Wednesday March 13, MPs voted by 321 to 278 in favour of a motion that ruled out leaving the EU with no deal on March 29. 

    Subsequently, on Thursday 14 March, MPs voted again, this time to ask the EU for a delay to Brexit until at least the end of June. However, EU leaders then warned that for there to be an extension, Miss May's government would have to put forward a clear path forward for what happens next.

    Miss May was reportedly planning to hold yet another vote on her Brexit deal on March 20 after a number of eurosceptic Conservative party MPs who previously opposed May's deal said they may now back it. Yet, May is said to be considering sidelining that possibility unless there is a "realistic prospect" of success.   

    READ MORE: Another Round of Brexit Talks Better Than No-Deal Scenario — German FM

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    Brexit 'deal or no deal', Brexit, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, United Kingdom, Brussels, London
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