Johnson 'rejected NI-only backstop' in meeting - DUP

British PM Johnson’s Brexit plans stalled

British PM Johnson’s Brexit plans stalled

The Prime Minister welcomed more than 100 business leaders from across Northern Ireland to a reception at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has said the solution to Brexit is contained in the backstop.

"Mr Johnson's stupid, risky fantasy can not become Ireland's nightmare, because Brexit is a very English problem and the consequences of it can not be shifted on to Ireland".

Mary Lou McDonald said Ireland faced "its greatest threat and challenge in a generation" at the hands of the United Kingdom government.

An opposition-backed measure created to rule out a no-deal Brexit on Oct 31 became law after receiving the formal assent of Queen Elizabeth II, hours before legislators were set to reject Johnson's demand for a snap election to break the political deadlock engulfing the government.

Mr Johnson was responding to reports that he is considering plans for a regulatory border in the Irish Sea in a bid to salvage a Brexit deal ahead of the October 31 deadline.

Speaking at a hustings event in Northern Ireland in July, while running for leading of the Conservative party, Mr Johnson said he was "an enthusiast for the idea". The British prime minister needs to hear this.

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He also repeated his promise to leave the European Union on Oct 31, with or without an exit deal.

The EU says Britain has not produced any concrete proposals for replacing the contentious "backstop", a provision in the withdrawal agreement reached by Johnson's predecessor Theresa May that is created to ensure an open border between EU member Ireland, and the UK's Northern Ireland.

However Ms McDonald said it was "not perfect", but that "no viable alternative exists to the backstop".

"It is not flawless by any means but it's the least worst option and broad Irish opinion supports that", she said.

A road connection between the two regions has been championed by the DUP, who said it would encourage economic growth and recognise "the strong economic, cultural and social links between the two regions".

Ms McDonald said Sinn Féin has always been an enthusiastic participant in power sharing, however, she said the party has run into immovable and ongoing roadblocks.

She added, "No true Irish republican would ever take a seat in the British Parliament, much less swear an oath to the British crown".

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