0522 GMT December 16, 2019
Any agreement must be “respectful of the fundamental European principles which the president referred to: stability in Ireland and the integrity of the single market”, the statement said.
Also addressing a news conference in The Hague, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had not given Britain 30 days to find a solution for the so-called Irish backstop but had wanted to highlight how short time was before Britain’s planned European Union exit date of Oct. 31.
“I said that what one can achieve in three or two years can also be achieved in 30 days. Better said, one must say that one can also achieve it by October 31,” she said.
At a joint news conference on Wednesday in Berlin with Johnson, Merkel appeared to suggest that a solution to the sticking point of the Irish backstop could be found in the next 30 days.
“It was said we will probably find a solution in two years. But we could also find one in the next 30 days, why not?” said Merkel, Europe’s most powerful leader.
Johnson repeatedly said that the Irish border backstop – which is a protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement struck by his predecessor Theresa May – needed to be removed in full.
He said Merkel had given him 30 days to come up with alternatives and said there was ample scope for a deal.