PM May should renegotiate Brexit deal if loses vote in parliament – Johnson

FILE PHOTO: Boris Johnson leaves the stage after addressing delegates at a Conservative Home fringe meeting on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Britain, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) – Former foreign minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday Theresa May could stay on as prime minister and go back to Brussels and renegotiate the divorce agreement if she loses a crucial parliamentary vote on Tuesday on her Brexit deal.

Johnson, a leading Brexit campaigner who is seen as a possible successor to May, said Brussels would listen if she asked for the removal from the deal of the Irish “backstop”, an insurance policy designed to prevent a post-Brexit hard border between EU member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland.

Asked if she could stay on as leader and go back to the EU to renegotiate the deal if she loses the vote, Johnson told the BBC: “Of course, that is exactly what needs to happen.”

“What people want to hear now is not stuff about leadership elections and personalities, what they want to hear is that there a plan to get out of this mess,” he said.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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