EU will move on Irish backstop in Brexit talks - PM Johnson

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during an Emergency Declaration for Nature and People event after the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at the U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union will move on the thorny issue of the backstop, designed to prevent the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday.

Johnson is seeking to remove the backstop from the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement in a bid to secure a new deal which can command the support of lawmakers.

Asked whether he thought the EU would move on the issue, Johnson told ITV:

“Yes, I do. And they already genuinely have moved in the sense that they’re willing to consider other ways that allow us to work with our Irish friends to accomplish several things,” he said.

“We need to respect the unity of the EU single market and we think we can also do that.”

Johnson also said he had full confidence in advisor Dominic Cummings.

“I’ve got a lot of very good advisors, but advisors obviously give advice and I take the decisions,” he said.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Kate Holton