Senior Irish politicians and diplomats have held peace talks with two of Mr Johnson's Cabinet allies. German and French figures, as well as the Dutch and Belgian governments, have also established contacts with Mr Johnson's team and signalled an intention to do a deal. They have been stung into action by the Tory leadership favourite's insistence he is willing to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 "do or die". Simon Coveney, Ireland's deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs, indicated that Dublin is prepared to compromise.
He said that the Withdrawal Agreement concluded with Theresa May, which includes the controversial Northern Ireland backstop, is "not up for negotiation". But he made clear that his country wants to avoid a no-deal Brexit. "If the approach of the new British prime minister is that they're going to tear up the Withdrawal Agreement, then I think we're in trouble. We're all in trouble, quite frankly, because it's a little bit like saying, 'Either give me what I want or I'm going to burn the house down for everybody'," Mr Coveney told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.
"The EU has made it very clear that we want to engage with a new British prime minister, we want to avoid a no-deal Brexit." Mr Coveney maintained the backstop can be avoided by negotiation, but that it needs to be part of the Withdrawal Agreement. He said: "The idea that we can consider moving away from something