Varadkar and Johnson expected to speak by phone again next week

British PM to meet Macron in Paris and Merkel in Berlin ahead of G7 summit

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and British prime minister Boris Johnson are expected to speak again by phone next week, before Mr Johnson attends the G7 summit of world leaders.

The G7 takes place in Biarritz, France, between August 24th to 26th and the Taoiseach and Mr Johnson are expected to have their second phone call in advance of the summit, it is understood.

The pair already spoke by phone last month and are expected to meet in Dublin in early September. Mr Johnson continues to demand that the backstop, the insurance policy to avoid a hard border, be abolished if there is to be an orderly Brexit at the end of October.

The European Union has repeatedly insisted that the withdrawal agreement, which contains the backstop, will not be re-opened.



The Guardian reported the phone call to Mr Varadkar will be part of a round of diplomacy by Mr Johnson in advance of the G7. It said Mr Johnson will also meet French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris and German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. He will also speak to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, by telephone.

In their last phone call, Mr Varadkar told Mr Johnson that the backstop in the Brexit withdrawal agreement is needed because of decisions taken by the United Kingdom as it leaves the EU.

A leaked paper from the German government suggested Mr Johnson’s insistence that the UK will leave the EU on October 31st with or without a deal had so far failed to prompt a rethink in Brussels and the European capitals.

A document prepared by officials for the German finance minister, Olaf Scholz, before talks in Berlin on Friday with UK chancellor of the exchequer, Sajid Javid, stressed the importance of holding out against any renegotiation despite Johnson’s “tough negotiating position”.

The paper makes clear that while the German government does believe that the British government will carry out its threat, the EU still has no intention of returning to the negotiating table on Johnson’s terms.

The German officials who drafted the paper warn instead of a “high probability” of a no-deal Brexit on October 31st.