British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt claims that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is ready to renegotiate the Brexit deal.
The UK leadership hopeful said Sunday that he had spoken with Merkel last week, asserting that the European Union was “willing to negotiate on the package” if the new leader has the “right approach,” The Guardianreported.
The Tory hopeful also said on radio show that the German chancellor had told him that the EU “would look at any solutions.”
The EU has on several occasions asserted that the withdrawal agreement cannot be reopened.
Eurosceptics fear that the UK is stuck in a customs union indefinitely; therefore, they are making efforts to change the Irish backstop.
Hunt also took the chance to attack his contender Boris Johnson, saying that an “ultra hard-line person” would be met by “an ultra hard-line response” from Brussels.
Johnson, meanwhile, threatened to withhold the UK’s payments to the EU until an agreement is inked.
“I always thought it was extraordinary that we should agree to write the entire check before having a final deal,” Johnson said. “In getting a good deal, money is a great solvent and a great lubricant.”
Michael Gove, also candidate in the race, said meanwhile that he would stick to the October 31 deadline.
“If we’re 95% of the way there on 31 October, would it really make sense to junk that progress and to say ‘tell you what, we’re leaving without a deal anyway’?” he said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
Sajid Javid, another Conservative leadership hopeful, also promoted a no-deal scenario for the outcome of the negotiations.
“If I have to choose between no deal and no Brexit, I would pick no deal,” he said. “We’ve done the homework on this… I will change the dynamic and I will do that by offering the money to pay for the border. It is justified that we do that because, economically, if that unlocks a deal we will have a mini economic boom in this country if we get a deal and that will pay for that.”