“We are Still Waiting for Serious Suggestions.”
In Brussels, we talk about alternatives to the backstop. The basis is preliminary ideas from London. They do not mark a “turning point” in Brexit, they say.
The UK-EU Brexit talks are not at a turning point, according to the Irish government. The mood has improved, said Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in the BBC radio program. This is certainly the recent visit of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Dublin responsible. “But we have to be honest with the citizens and make them understand that we are not about to make a breakthrough.”
Meanwhile, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was open to alternatives to the British government’s rejected emergency solution for Ireland, the so-called backstop. To this end, Britain had sent initial ideas to Brussels, which should avoid both a fixed border between the EU member Ireland and British-controlled Northern Ireland as well as an expansion of the EU Customs Union. Johnson wants to avoid the latter.
These and other points will be discussed by EU and UK negotiators Michel Barnier and Stephen Barclay during the day in Brussels. In addition, according to information from EU circles in the coming week in New York, a renewed meeting of Johnson and Juncker is planned. In the opinion of Ireland’s Foreign Minister, the “documents” from London so far not enough to adjust the previous exit agreement and so prevent a Brexit without a deal. “We’re still waiting for serious proposals from the UK government,” Coveney told the BBC.
The Finnish EU Presidency intends to submit these proposals by the end of September. Otherwise, you can no longer consider them for negotiations. A spokesman for the British prime minister countered: “It will propose” formal written solutions “when they are ready – not because of” an artificial deadline “.