BORIS Johnson has “shared perspectives” on Brexit and the three-times rejected Withdrawal Agreement with his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar and set out in detail his objection to the Irish backstop to Donald Tusk.

Last night the Prime Minister also had yet another telephone call with Donald Trump to talk Brexit and trade ahead of Saturday’s G7 summit in Biarritz.

Mr Johnson and his Irish counterpart exchanged views in a telephone call that lasted for almost an hour on Monday evening ahead of his visits this week to Berlin and Paris to talk with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

A Downing St spokesman said the PM and Taoiseach “shared perspectives” on the Withdrawal Agreement when Mr Johnson indicated how “in its current form” it would not get through the  Commons and so the backstop would need to be removed with an “alternative solution” required. 

“The Taoiseach reiterated the EU27 position that the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be reopened and emphasised the importance of the legally operable guarantee to ensure no hard border and continued free trade on the island of Ireland.”

Mr Johnson made clear the Common Travel Area, which long predates the UK and Ireland joining the EU, would not be affected by the ending of freedom of movement after Brexit.

The spokesman added: “They agreed that their teams would maintain close contact over the coming weeks while recognising that negotiations take place between the UK and the EU27 Task Force. They also agreed to meet in Dublin in early September."

In his letter to the outgoing European Council President, the PM stressed how achieving agreement with the EU was “our highest priority”.

But he explained to Mr Tusk why the backstop was unacceptable, stressing it was “anti-democratic” and would lock the UK into the single market and customs “potentially indefinitely” or see Northern Ireland become “gradually detached” from the rest of the UK; outcomes, which were both unacceptable to the British Government.

Mr Johnson proposed “alternative arrangements” to be in place before the end of the transition period, currently December 2020, but if they were not, the UK Government would be willing to “look constructively and flexibly at what commitments might help”.

He added: “Time is very short. But the UK is ready to move quickly and, given the degree of common ground already, I hope the EU will be ready to do likewise.”

Earlier, the PM acknowledged that “our friends and partners on the other side of the Channel are showing a little bit of reluctance at the moment to change their position,” but he said he was “confident” Brussels would ultimately agree to scrap the Irish backstop, thus avoiding Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal on October 31.