Boris Johnson should not expect an 'entente cordiale' in Paris from Emmanuel Macron

Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron meet later on Thursday. Credit: AP

He may have got a hearing in Berlin but Boris Johnson’s trip to Paris today looks altogether more difficult.

Angela Merkel set the PM a challenge before dinner in the German Chancellery - find a clear alternative to the Irish backstop in 30 days and we’ll look at it.

A "blistering timetable" he responded but said he was "more than happy" with the idea.

Although some might see the offer as Merkel’s attempt to shift the blame should things go wrong, Mr Johnson seemed pleased not to have received a straight ‘nein’.

But ahead of his meeting with Emmanuel Macron, the French President warned that renegotiation was "not an option".

He also suggested in seeking a trade deal with President Trump, Britain risked "vassalisation".

None of which augurs well for an entente cordiale in Paris.