Britain's Barclay urges European Union to be flexible, creative over Brexit

21 Septembre, 2019, 11:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

"We are exclusively concerned with the lawfulness of the prime minister's decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue parliament on the dates in question", she said.

But in the new document, not disclosed to media but published by lawyer Jo Maugham - one of those involved in the legal challenge - Johnson's legal team appeared to say there would still be a way for him to keep parliament from sitting, depending on the exact wording of the court's judgment. A majority of parliamentarians have been trying to prevent a no-deal Brexit and recently passed a law that requires the Prime Minister to seek an extension if he hasn't struck an agreement by October 19.

This would give more time for legislators to scrutinize and oppose his plans to lead Britain out of the European Union, with or without a divorce deal, on October 31.

"The result of this case will not determine that", she said.

Early Thursday the court witnessed the spectacle of the current Prime Minister Johnson being taken to task by former Conservative prime minister John Major.

In a written submission to the court, Major said Johnson's reasons for suspending the Parliament can not be true.

Major said the inescapable conclusion was that "the decision was in fact substantially motivated by a desire to obstruct Parliament from interfering with the prime minister's plans".

But Advocate General Richard Keen, the British government's top Scottish legal adviser contesting the Edinburgh court decision, said it would see the courts straying into an "ill-defined minefield" beyond their remit.

"I told Boris Johnson that I have no emotional attachment to the Backstop".

A European source said the Brexit timetable will also be discussed at a meeting between Johnson and Juncker on the margins of the UN General Assembly in NY next week. European Union leaders are skeptical of that claim, saying the United Kingdom has not produced any concrete proposals.

Britain's Barclay urges European Union to be flexible, creative over Brexit

Under Britain's unwritten constitution, the power to suspend or dissolve parliament formally remains with the monarch, a politically impartial figure who acts in accordance with the advice of the prime minister.

Finland holds the EU's rotating presidency and occasionally speaks for the bloc.

Earlier, Downing Street said Mr Johnson will not be bound by an "artificial deadline" to produce formal written proposals to resolve the deadlock and would submit them "when we are ready" and when Brussels is prepared to "engage constructively on them".

That would give Boris Johnson, the embattled British Prime Minister, just 12 days to lay out his alternative proposals to the backstop arrangement - the insurance policy worked into the Withdrawal Agreement to prevent the erection of a physical border in Northern Ireland.

Technical "non-papers" are documents used in negotiations that do not represent a formal position.

Britain has suggested implementing what it calls "alternative arrangements" - a mix of technology to replace border checks and a common area for agricultural products and animals covering the whole island of Ireland.

However, his deputy, Mr Coveney, said: "There's still a big gap between what the British government has been suggesting that they're looking for and what Ireland and the European Union need in terms of getting a deal, and in order to close that gap we need to get credible proposals from the British government, which we simply haven't received yet".

The UK papers are likely to be on the agenda when UK Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay meets the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels on Friday.

"A rigid approach now at this point is no way to progress a deal and the responsibility sits with both sides to find a solution", he said during a visit to Madrid. "But we are making progress".

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