Budge on the backstop, or risk a no-deal exit.
That was the message from British prime minister Boris Johnson when he met Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday (August 21).
He insisted there is scope to do a deal, but that the Irish backstop - which acts as an insurance policy to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the republic - must be axed.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING:
"The backstop, that particular arrangement which I do think has grave, grave defects for a sovereign democratic country like the UK. That plainly has to go. But once we get rid of it, if we can change it, then I think there is the real prospect of making progress very rapidly indeed."
Merkel has promised to discuss - quote - "practical solutions" to the Irish border issue, but said that the withdrawal agreement would remain firmly closed.
More than three years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, it's still unclear on what terms the bloc's second largest economy will leave.
Johnson, a Brexiteer only a month into his premiership, is betting the threat of 'no deal' turmoil will win over Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron, who he will meet with on Thursday (August 22).
Johnson will make his international debut at a G7 summit in France on Saturday (August 24), where he's set to sample post-Brexit reality.
Pressured on one side by Europe - who have no plans to reopen the deal.
And on the other by the United States - driving a hard bargain for its post divorce economic support.