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Boris Johnson's 'change of tone' for new Brexit deal

The Brexit crisis may be causing huge uncertainty for business and individuals. Credit: PA

A month into his premiership and Boris Johnson is finally about to meet the two most powerful leaders in the EU, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron of France.

The Brexit crisis may be causing huge uncertainty for business and individuals.

But until this week, the mood music from Number 10 was that the new PM is relaxed about leaving the EU without securing a deal.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is meeting with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Mancron this week. Credit: PA

With his trips to Berlin and Paris this week, a change in tone is apparent, Mr Johnson now wanting to be seen as someone who’s very much up for doing a deal.

But in his interview with my colleague Paul Brand on Tuesday, there was little evidence he has any new ideas about how to resolve the issue of the Irish backstop - an insurance policy to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

The much discussed "alternative arrangements" raised their head again as well as "trusted trader schemes" but in the end Mr Johnson simply resorted to criticising his predecessor Theresa May for not suggesting these options vigorously enough.

EU leaders are unlikely to budge on the backstop, however much they would prefer to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

One possible compromise remains.

They are open to discussing - and changing - the Political Declaration which some believe could be reworked to offer guarantees to the UK on the backstop.

Such a compromise is still a long way off though - and Number 10 are playing down expectations that anything much will be achieved in these two meetings ahead of the G7 Summit in Biarritz on Saturday.