UK PM to visit European capitals seeking Brexit breakthrough



British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit European capitals this week on his first overseas trip as prime minister, as his government said Sunday it had ordered the scrapping of the decades-old law enforcing its European Union membership.
Johnson will travel to Berlin on Wednesday for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and on to Paris on Thursday for discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron, Downing Street confirmed on Sunday, amid growing fears of a no-deal Brexit in two and a half months.
The meetings, ahead of a two-day G7 summit starting Saturday in the southern French resort of Biarritz, are his first diplomatic forays abroad since replacing predecessor Theresa May last month.
Johnson is expected to push for the EU to reopen negotiations over the terms of Brexit or warn that it faces the prospect of Britain’s disorderly departure on Oct 31 — the date it is due to leave.
European leaders have repeatedly rejected reopening an accord agreed by May last year but then rejected by British lawmakers on three occasions, despite Johnson’s threats that the country will leave then without an agreement.
In an apparent show of intent, London announced on Sunday that it had ordered the repeal of the European Communities Act, which took Britain into the forerunner to the EU 46 years ago and gives Brussels law supremacy.
The order, signed by Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay on Friday, is set to take effect on Oct 31. —AFP

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