RIBBLE Valley MP Nigel Evans, has backed Boris Johnson's demand that the controversial Northern Ireland 'backstop' must be dropped before any Brexit deal can be agreed.

The European Union has insisted on the provision to avoid a hard border with the Irish Republic.

Prime Minister Mr Johnson has written to Donald Tusk, the European Council's president, saying the backstop must be removed for any withdrawal agreement to be approved by the UK Parliament prior to meeting German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron this week.

Mr Tusk has refused increasing the chances of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Conservative backbencher Mr Evans, who like other strong Brexiteers deeply opposes the backstop, said: "“I absolutely stand by Boris’s firm words in the letter he penned to Donald Tusk.

"The Withdrawal Agreement drawn up by the previous PM was rejected three times on the very basis of the Irish Backstop: it is undemocratic and threatens the Good Friday Agreement.

“By agreeing to the Irish backstop we would be entering something from which we could not unilaterally leave. This causes major problems for our sovereignty and would effectively ensure that Brussels continues to have a tight grip over the UK.

“ I suggest the European Union listens carefully and begins to talk seriously about reopening the negotiations."