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.”

Prime Minister Pays Respect to War Dead in Belgium and France

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has paid respects on behalf of the nation to those who died in Belgium and France during the First World War. She attended ceremonies with Emmanuel Macron, the French President, and Charles Michel, the Belgian Prime Minister, to mark the event. She also laid wreaths at the graves of John Parr and George Ellison, the first and last soldiers to die in the conflict.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“A century ago British forces fought side by side with our allies in Europe on the Western Front. Today in France and Belgium we reflect on our shared history, but also look ahead to our shared future, built on peace, prosperity and friendship.

At St Symphorien I will have the honour of laying a wreath on behalf of a nation at the graves of both John Parr and George Ellison, the first and last UK soldiers to die during the War. That their graves lie opposite each other is a fitting and poignant symbol that brings home the eternal bond between them, and every member of the Armed Forces who gave their lives to protect what we hold so dear.

We remember the heroes who lost their lives in the horror of the trenches. As the sun sets on one hundred years of remembrance, we will never forget their sacrifice”.