Brexit: Donald Tusk rejects Boris Johnson's backstop proposal – live news

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happenDiane Abbott: free movement plan worse than WindrushAnalysis: what’s in new bid to remove backstop? 12.23pm BST Here is a round-up of assorted comment from journalists and specialists...

Brexit: Donald Tusk rejects Boris Johnson's backstop proposal – live news

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen

Here is a round-up of assorted comment from journalists and specialists on the Boris Johnson letter to Donald Tusk.

From Philip Oltermann, the Guardian’s Berlin correspondent

If you wanted to remind EU leaders of the need for an instrument as binding as the backstop, reneging on your predecessor’s assurances on citizens’ rights seems a pretty good way to go about it.

It’s hard to imagine there are new solutions for the Irish border that were not explored in depth during many months of negotiation. The Johnson letter contains none. UK govt in effect asking EU to drop the backstop with no clear alternative in view.

The essence of cakeism. The UK will adopt its own rules, or maybe US ones, regarding goods, labour, environment, etc. So things will be sold there that may not be legal in the EU, and produced in ways that would give UK producers an unfair advantage.https://t.co/dl28Qdaibb

Am stunned off my sun lounger by this @BorisJohnson letter to @eucopresident on the irish backstop. It’s based on a big fat fallacy - that the Irish border issue can be fixed by unilateral commitments or good intentions 1/quick threadhttps://t.co/X3zzO4U1d6 pic.twitter.com/TegIJPjvrn

So letter was expected, as I tweeted yesterday. Agree with @pmdfoster that @BorisJohnson alternative to backstop is very vague & won’t fly with the EU. Inflexible. So breakthrough unlikely in Berlin, Paris & Biarritz. Both sides waiting for two week Commons sitting in Sept 1/2 https://t.co/ry2MUNCRk9

So @BorisJohnson allies are suggesting that @eucopresident letter is a genuine attempt to start negotiations but also warning that EU will be on wrong side of public opinion if it rejects PM’s proposal outright. More evidence of Johnson playing blame game 1/2

But it poses dilemma for EU. Letter might be Johnson’s opening rather than final position depending upon EU's response in bilaterals & Biarritz. As always, @BorisJohnson more optimistic about prospects of deal than some aides ENDS

The chutzpah is Boris Johnson suggesting that the backstop puts the Good Friday Agreement at risk. Precisely the opposite given the threat of a return of a hard border. People who pointed this out after Brexit referendum were shouted down https://t.co/RxJ6uBMSkU

Earlier I suggested that Boris Johnson’s letter to Donald Tusk could be seen as just an elaborate exercise in attempted blame deflection. (See 9.25am.) This quote makes that interpretation look increasingly plausible.

Senior figure in U.K. government on @eucopresident tweet: “[This] looks like an over re-action from Tusk. It appears their position is nothing will change from the unworkable deal offered to Theresa May. Sad they are unwilling to be reasonable.”

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