‘Not a basis for agreement’: EU Parliament tears apart Britain’s Brexit proposals as BoJo scrambles to secure a deal
The European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group (BSG) met with the European Commission’s Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, to discuss the latest offers being floated by London.
The committee was apparently less than impressed, writing in a draft statement that the proposals “do not represent a basis for an agreement to which the Parliament could give consent by the end of the month.”
NEW: EU Parliament Brexit Steering Group Statement “The BSG does not find these last minute proposals of the UK government of 2 October, in their current form, represent a basis for an agreement to which the European Parliament could give consent.” pic.twitter.com/FLRLbvr5sx— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) October 3, 2019
Guy Verhofstadt, the BSG’s chair and Brexit co-ordinator, revealed that the European Parliament had major issues with the UK prime minister’s proposals. Lawmakers believe it would harm the Republic of Ireland’s all-island economy, that it lacks detail, is not operational and puts the deal under custody of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
The @Europarl_EN has three fundamental problems with the UK’s latest proposal:1⃣ Harms Ireland’s all-island economy 2⃣ lack of detail/not operational 3⃣ puts deal under custody of DUPThis is repackaging old, bad ideashttps://t.co/z7rDgCAmh6— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) October 3, 2019
European Council President Donald Tusk has cast major doubts about the viability of the UK government's proposals. Tusk, who spoke to both the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and Johnson on Thursday afternoon, warned that despite remaining open to discussions, they are “still unconvinced” by the UK’s Brexit plans.
Today I had two phone calls on #Brexit, first with Dublin then with London.My message to Taoiseach @LeoVaradkar: We stand fully behind Ireland.My message to PM @BorisJohnson: We remain open but still unconvinced.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 3, 2019
Johnson submitted the potential deal to the EU on Wednesday, as part of a last-ditch effort to keep his promise to leave the union by the end of the month. It would see the contentious Irish backstop replaced with electronic and a “number of physical” customs checks at traders’ premises and other supply chain locations away from the border.
If ratified, it would mean that Northern Ireland would remain in the same 'regulatory zone' as the Republic of Ireland for goods traded across the north-south border.
However, it would also stay in the same customs territory as mainland UK - not the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU member state. Therefore, checks would be necessary on some trade, both between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and between Northern Ireland and mainland UKAlso on rt.com Bye bye Irish backstop: BoJo’s final offer to the EU
Addressing Parliament on Thursday, Johnson pleaded with British lawmakers to back his proposal and avoid a “no deal” Brexit.
Johnson has come under fire for trying to temporarily shut down Parliament, a move which many viewed as an attempt to push through his Brexit plan without parliamentary interference. He previously vowed to take his country out of the bloc by October 31, “do or die,” but now claims that leaving without a deal would be “a failure of statecraft for which all parties would be held responsible."
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