Prime Minister Mark Rutte has told his British colleague Boris Johnson that a deal whereby Northern Ireland falls outside the customs union is unacceptable.
That writes the Financial Times. Rutte writes on Twitter that he still has many questions about Johnson’s proposal, after they had spoken to each other by telephone. The British Prime Minister was already told by Brussels that the European Union only wants to talk if the British make substantial commitments and drop demands.
The remaining 27 European member states are particularly concerned about the fact that Johnson in his proposal scraps the so-called emergency solution for Northern Ireland. This ‘backstop’ must prevent the external border of the European customs union from coming between the Irish republic and Northern Ireland.
Rutte wants clarity from Johnson before the European Council meets. That meeting is scheduled for 17 and 18 October.