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We can do it: Johnson adopts Merkel’s ‘notorious’ phrase during Berlin visit

The British Prime Minister met his German counterpart in Berlin.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By Alexander Britton, PA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson co-opted a slogan often used by his German counterpart Angela Merkel during his trip to Berlin.

“Wir schaffen das”, or “We can do it”, was used by the German chancellor four years ago in the midst of the migrant crisis in the country.

She went on to use the phrase in the aftermath of attacks in the country in the following months.

And Mr Johnson used the term during a joint press conference in Berlin after discussing Brexit and the Irish border on Wednesday.

He said: “We in the UK want a deal, we seek a deal and I believe that we can get one.

“We can do it. ‘Wir schaffen das’, I think, is the phrase.”

The Chancellor reacted to her notorious phrase from the time of the German refugee crisis with a tortured smile

The use of the phrase was met with laughter among the press pack, but reaction to Mr Johnson’s foray into German has been mixed among the papers.

Die Welt’s correspondent Stefanie Bolzen wrote: “There could be a deal, but only without the controversial backstop, he said in Berlin.

“With a loud and with a strong English accent in German: ‘Wir schaffen das!’

“The Chancellor reacted to her notorious phrase from the time of the German refugee crisis with a tortured smile. Awkward, as the Briton would say in such a situation.”

PA

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