Boris Johnson Speaks to Belgian Prime Minister

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has spoken to Charles Michel, the Prime Minister of Belgium, by phone to discuss matters relating to the countries such as Brexit, NATO and security.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“Prime Minister Johnson began by reiterating his commitment to strengthening the excellent bilateral relationship between the UK and Belgium, including in key areas such as security, trade and counterterrorism. He said that he looked forward to welcoming Prime Minister Michel for the NATO Leaders’ Meeting on 4 December.

On Brexit, Prime Minister Johnson set out that the existing deal has been rejected three times by Parliament and must change. He reiterated that the UK stands ready to negotiate an alternative to the backstop in good faith, but if the EU continue to insist on no changes to the Withdrawal Agreement then we will have to leave without a deal on the 31 October.

On citizens’ rights, Prime Minister Johnson thanked Prime Minister Michel for the positive approach of Belgium, which has legislation in place to protect the rights of UK nationals. He reiterated the UK’s commitment that the rights of the 3.2 million citizens, including Belgian citizens now living and working in the UK, are protected whatever the circumstances.

The leaders finished the call by discussing how the UK and Belgium will continue to have a close relationship and work together on the important issues that face our continent.”

Government Issues Statement on COBRA Meeting

belgian flag

The Government has issued a statement over a second meeting of COBRA which was held this morning to discuss the terrorist attack on Belgium.

A spokesman said:

“The Prime Minister chaired a further COBR meeting this morning on the Brussels attacks.

We are concerned about 1 missing British national and we are in close contact with the Belgian authorities. We are aware of 4 British nationals who were injured in the attacks – 3 are being treated in hospital, 1 has already been discharged. Our embassy staff are working to assist all British nationals affected.

In terms of travel advice, we continue to advise people to follow the advice of the Belgian authorities. Therefore we are no longer advising against travel to Brussels. British nationals in Belgium should remain alert and vigilant, stay away from crowded places, and follow the instructions of the Belgian authorities.

Here in the UK, we stepped up the security presence at a number of locations across the country yesterday and we will maintain this in the coming days. The national threat level remains at SEVERE (an attack is highly likely) and the public are advised to be ‘alert but not alarmed’.

Government departments will be observing a minutes silence at 11am UK time. The Prime Minister will update MPs at the start of Prime Minister’s Questions, followed by an oral statement from the Home Secretary later this afternoon setting out the government’s response to the attacks”.