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France's Macron: No time to negotiate new Brexit deal

In a press conference at Elysee Palace with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron underscored that no EU country will renegotiate the Brexit agreement. "We are preparing for any scenario, including leave without a deal," Macron said. He said the Brexit issue needs to be solved in a month and it is not possible to make a new agreement.

Agencies and A News WORLD
Published August 22,2019
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) gestures as he delivers a speech to the press next to Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) prior to their meeting at The Elysee Palace in Paris. [AFP Photo]

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday told Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson there was not enough time in the month ahead to negotiate a new Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday challenged Britain to come up with alternatives to the Irish border backstop within 30 days -- a challenge which Johnson readily accepted.

"What Chancellor Merkel said yesterday, and which is in line with the substance of our talks, is that we need visibility in 30 days," Macron told reporters standing alongside Johnson.

"Nobody is going to wait until Oct. 31 without trying to find a good solution."

Irish backstop issue is the hottest topic of dispute between the U.K and the EU on Brexit.

The backstop is a safety measure that ensures open borders between Northern Ireland -- which is part of the U.K. -- and the Republic of Ireland, if the U.K. leaves the EU without a deal this year.

Britain's Parliament has repeatedly rejected the Brexit deal concluded by previous Prime Minister Theresa May, as many lawmakers argued that the backstop arrangement could force the U.K. to follow EU rules for an indefinite time.

Current premier Johnson on Monday asked the EU to scrap the Irish border backstop arrangement, arguing that it is "anti-democratic" and it would undermine the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Rebuffing Jonhson's demand, European Council head Donald Dusk said on Tuesday that "the backstop is an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless and until an alternative is found."