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Boris Johnson told his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar that the UK would 'never' erect a permanent border with Ireland today as they finally spoke nearly a week after the UK Prime Minister entered Downing Street.
Mr Johnson told the Taoiseach the UK would be leaving 'come what may' on October in a phone call this morning - echoing language used with Scots First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday.
Conversation - Claims - Mr - Johnson - Mr
The conversation came after claims that Mr Johnson had been 'snubbing' Mr Varadkar as he takes a hard line against the EU.
Mr Johnson has demanded Brussels drops the hated Irish border backstop from the divorce deal altogether, warning negotiations will not happen unless the bloc is willing to revisit the issue.
Premier - UK - EU - End - October
The premier has solemnly vowed to take the UK out of the EU by the end of October, with or without a deal.
After the call a Downing Street spokeswoman said: 'On Brexit, the Prime Minister made clear that the UK will be leaving the EU on October 31, no matter what.
'He - Scenarios - Government - Commitment - Belfast
'He said that in all scenarios, the Government will be steadfast in its commitment to the Belfast Agreement and will never put physical checks or physical infrastructure on the border.
'The Prime Minister made clear that the Government will approach any negotiations which take place with determination and energy and in a spirit of friendship, and that his clear preference is to leave the EU with a deal, but it must be one that abolishes the backstop.'
Dublin - Mr - Varadkar - UK - PM
But Dublin said Mr Varadkar invited the UK PM to Dublin but reiterated the Withdrawal Agreement will not be reopened, and any deal must include the 'necessary' backstop.
A spokesman for Mr Varadkar said: 'The Taoiseach emphasised to the Prime Minister that the backstop was necessary as a consequence of decisions taken in the UK and by...
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