Britain and European Union spar over Brexit as clock ticks down

23 Septembre, 2019, 05:11 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Britain submits written Withdrawal Agreement proposals

"The alternative to the backstop is not necessary until the end of the implementation period which is December 2020", Barclay said, urging the European Union not to risk the future relationship in November by insisting for a resolution by day 1 of Brexit.

Mr Coveney also said the Republic of Ireland "is in no doubt what a a no-deal would mean for us", adding that it would be "damaging and hard and poses huge questions".

Brussels' chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Steve Barclay met for talks described as "serious, detailed discussions" by the Brexit Secretary on Friday.

The warning from a government spokesman comes as the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar travels to NY today, where he will hold Brexit talks with the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"Doing so would be truly risky - far more unsafe than the problems caused by leaving on October 31 without a deal".

British parliament has rejected the deal May agreed with the EU.

The main objective of the Taoiseach's visit to NY is to attend the UN General Assembly, and other meetings, on the topics of climate change, sustainable development and combating online terrorism.

The British pound fell from a two-month high after the Financial Times reported Johnson had told colleagues he did not expect to reach a full "legally operable" deal next month.

"We need a dose of reality, and there is still a wide gap", he said.

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Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme, the Irish deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, said the gap between the two negotiating position was wide.

The British official said the NY talks would be a chance to discuss the ideas set out in the papers, which covered agri-food, customs, and manufactured goods.

European Union diplomats complain that it will be impossible for the negotiations to progress if the member states are unable to thoroughly analyse British plans for replacing the Irish backstop.

In New York, Johnson will address a breakfast meeting of British and American business leaders on Tuesday, during which he will set out his pitch for why they should invest in post-Brexit Britain.

"There is certainly a lot of commentary now and some of it is spin I think, in the context of where we are", he told the BBC.

The Telegraph said this was in line with comments Johnson reportedly made to colleagues, saying he did not expect to find a legally operable solution before the crunch talks with the European Union at its crucial council meeting starting October 17.

But in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Mr Juncker said there would have to be checks.

"I think for Britain to ask us to do that is a very unreasonable request, and it won't be the basis of a deal".

"Trade across 300 road crossings that has created a normality and a peace that is settled on the island of Ireland for the last 20 years, that now faces significant disruption,"he said. It is very damaging and very hard and poses huge questions for politics and potentially for the management of civic unrest in the context of Northern Ireland and the border question", Mr Coveney said".


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