Merkel to offer Johnson 'reason for hope' ahead of crunch talks in face of huge ...

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Angela Merkel will not "throw Ireland under the bus" by agreeing to remove the backstop from the Brexit withdrawal agreement, according to the former German diplomat. Mr Mathussek however conceded Mrs Merkel will be giving the Prime Minister "reason for hope" by offering to change details within the political declaration – the document setting out details on the future relationship between the bloc and the UK. The German Chancellor is to meet with Boris Johnson in Berlin on Wednesday to discuss British demands to lift the controversial clause from the proposed deal after months of refusal from the European Union to budge.

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Mr Mathussek told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: "As far as the backstop is concerned, I think we cannot throw Ireland – who is a foundation of the Good Friday Agreement, the end of the Troubles – under the bus.

"What message would that send to other members of the EU family if we gave up that sort of loyalty and solidarity?"

The former German Ambassador to the UK also dismissed suggestions claiming German businesses will rebel against the Chancellor, claiming the protection of the single market remained a top priority ahead of avoiding a no deal Brexit.

He continued: "The interesting thing is all the German businesses and associations stand absolutely firm on this line behind the Government because for the German industry it is much more important to maintain the integrity of the common market than the business with Britain.

"Of course we will suffer, some countries will suffer more, some will suffer less but business has sent, many times, a clear message - they do not want to reopen this deal that was signed by two sides and was hoped to be ratified in the British House of Commons."

JUST IN: Finally walking away from EU! Boris pulls UK officials from EU meetings as Brexit begins

Brexit news - Boris Johnson Angela MerkelBrexit news: Boris Johnson is expected to reiterate the need to remove the backstop (Image: CHANNEL 4 NEWS•M1HIRADO)

Brexit news - Angela MerkelBrexit news: Matussek claimed Angela Merkel will give Mr Johnson "reason for hope" but will not give up the backstop (Image: M1HIRADO)

Mr Mathussek however conceded Mrs Merkel will be giving the Prime Minister "reason for hope" by offering to change details within the political declaration – the document setting out details on the future relationship between the bloc and the UK. 

The former diplomat claimed the Chancellor will offer to include reassurances the two parties will maintain a close trading relationship once Britain officially leaves the European Union.

Mr Johnson on Monday reiterated his commitment to secure an agreement with Brussels as he outlined the reasons behind his demand to remove the backstop

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