Johnson and Varadkar clash over Irish backstop in phone call

Taoiseach tells new PM in first chat that EU will not scrap it as part of reopening Brexit talks Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar have clashed over the Irish backstop in their first phone call, with the Irish taoiseach saying the EU is united in the view that it cannot be scrapped and the withdrawal agreement will not be reopened. Johnson finally spoke to Varadkar almost a week after becoming prime minister, telling him the UK would never put physical checks or infrastructure at the border with Northern Ireland after Brexit but demanding the backstop be scrapped. The British prime minister had been accused of snubbing Varadkar by leaving it so long to speak to him, even though the Irish …