Merkel to host Johnson in Berlin amid growing Brexit drama

Merkel to host Johnson in Berlin amid growing Brexit drama
FILE - In this Wednesday, July 31, 2019 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the first meeting of the National Policing Board at the Home Office in London. A key part of the divorce proposals between the EU and Britain centers on keeping the island of Ireland free of physical borders between EU-member Ireland and the Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file)

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Berlin as Britain and the European Union are hurtling toward a costly no-deal Brexit in October.

Despite growing tensions between Britain and the EU, Merkel said Tuesday the main stumbling block concerning Britain’s departure from the European Union — the Irish border issue — can be removed if a “practical solution” is found.

Merkel said the remaining 27 EU countries are willing to find such a solution but don’t want to reopen a carefully negotiated Brexit deal agreed last year.

Merkel, who is set to welcome Johnson with military honors on Wednesday evening, also said whichever path Britain chooses the EU is willing to cooperate closely on economic and security issues.