Boris Johnson handled a frosty meeting in Berlin with his German opposite number, Steinmeier with his usual placid charm today. Steinmeier tried to rattle Boris with criticisms of the problems over Brexit, complaining Germany had been “left in limbo”. He also said acidly he “didn’t appreciate” Boris’s attitude during the Referendum. The German FM confirmed there would be no single market without free movement. Instead of sniping back, Boris said reasonably: “”It’s very important to understand this is one stage in a legal process. We will go on and appeal, but I don’t think it will interfere with the timetable for that process.” Brexit is going to happen said Boris, because you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.
He said Brexit was creating a “huge opportunity” with the chance to turn negotiations into a “win-win” situation leaving a strong EU and UK. He also told the German minister he wanted to “intensify bilateral relationship” and “become in some ways more European”.
Boris and Steinmeier also talked about Aleppo and the need to keep pressure on Assad and Russia, as well as Germany’s worth in Ukraine and the Minsk process.
Clear account of what Boris said here, courtesy of the Foreign Office.