Boris to persuade Merkel to embrace ‘Brexit Britain’ success in crunch meeting

Angela Merkel’s UK travel rules defended by former MEP

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The two leaders will meet face to face for the final time at Chequers next Friday, as Mrs Merkel prepares to step down after 16 years in power in September. During the meeting, the two leaders will discuss a variety of topics ranging from deepening the Brexit UK-Germany relationship and the global response to the coronavirus pandemic. has also learnt the pair are expected to discuss potential solutions over checks on goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK under the protocol, signed separately from the Brexit trade deal agreed in December.

But Mr Johnson’s attempt to sell his vision for post-Brexit Britain will be overshadowed by lingering tensions following Britain’s departure from the EU which have framed relations with European leaders, including Angela Merkel in recent years.

It also comes amid a tense row after Mrs Merkel pushed for the 27-member bloc to follow Berlin’s lead and to quarantine travellers from Britain to stop the spread of a more transmissible Delta variant strain of the coronavirus first identified in India.

During the crunch talks at Chequers on July 2, Mr Johnson will also try to persuade the German Chancellor to allow British tourists to travel to EU countries this summer. understands Ministers are keen to use the meeting to “reset” relations between the two countries and put the UK on a “firm footing” with its European neighbours following Brexit tensions.

One Whitehall insider told this publication the German Government appeared to have a “horrible attitude” towards the UK’s approach to handling Brexit.

They added: “Because of this, relations with Germany need a hard reset.

“We are a truly global Brexit Britain and are beginning to forge our own path but at the same time we want to work cooperatively with European partners.”

A Downing Street spokesperson said the meeting between the two leaders “will be a chance to discuss a range of issues.”

Angela Merkel’s spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer also hinted at possible tweaks to the agreement between the European Union and Britain on how to set border controls with Northern Ireland.

Addressing reporters, Ms Demmer avoided replying directly to a question on what Germany thinks of the EU Commission’s implied willingness to impose punitive tariffs if Britain doesn’t comply with the Brexit deal.

But she cited Merkel’s comments at the recent G7 meeting in Cornwall, at which the German Chancellor had called for “pragmatic solutions” within the framework of the accord, especially on border checks between Britain and Northern Ireland.

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Ms Demmer said that Merkel had spoken out in favour of “considering where one can improve matters if it better serves the citizens in Northern Ireland.”

It comes after Germany has imposed strict quarantine rules for travellers coming from Britain due to concerns about the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 that’s dominant there.

But Ms Demmer said “all precautionary measures” would be taken during Mrs Merkel’s trip and that there would be only limited contacts.

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