Meetings will be held as both sides hold firm on their Brexit red lines

Boris Johnson will meet with key EU leaders next week in an effort to persuade them to re-open the withdrawal agreement.

The prime minister will meet with French president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday. This will be followed by a meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday.

The prime minister will also hold telephone conversations with Irish premier Leo Varadkar and outgoing European Council president Donald Tusk.

Johnson is expected to repeat his demand that the EU re-open to withdrawal agreement, agreed by Theresa May in November 2018, to remove the controversial Northern Ireland backstop protocol.

The backstop would implement measures to ensure no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, should a trade deal between the UK and the EU was not in place by the end of the implementation period.

The EU however has insisted that the withdrawal agreement cannot be renegotiated. 

The Northern Irish DUP, whom Johnson’s Conservative party relies on for a working majority in the House of Commons, has reportedly indicated it could settle for a time limit on the backstop instead of its complete abolition. 

The UK is due to leave the EU on 31st October. Johnson has said he will allow the UK to leave on that date with or without a deal.