UK calls for ‘intensive negotiations’ on new Brexit plans – World

Britain urged the EU on Sunday to step up talks on the latest Brexit proposals in London, as European leaders warned that they should review their plans within a few days to conclude an agreement this month.

Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay said the bloc should show "creativity and flexibility" before October 31, when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to end 46 years of EU membership with or without a agreement.

With the EU asking for reworked proposals in a matter of days, French President Emmanuel Macron told Johnson in a phone call on Sunday that a decisive decision was coming.

A spokesman for the Elysee Palace said Macron agreed that negotiations between the team of the main EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, and British officials should continue in the next few days "to assess whether an agreement is possible" by the end of the week.

Barclay reiterated that the ideas Johnson had formally presented to Brussels were "a large landing zone" and that "intense negotiations" were now necessary.

"We have presented very serious proposals, including the commitment from our side," he told the BBC.

"We need to enter the intensive negotiations on the text to clarify what the agreement is."

Barclay added that the government was considering holding a parliamentary vote before the EU summit, which took place on October 17 and 18, to show Brussels that the plans are supported by parliamentarians.

But European leaders, who have reacted warmly to the proposals and urged London to offer a revised and viable path, have not yet agreed to accelerate negotiations.

They reportedly refused Britain's request to hold initial discussions on the proposals over the weekend, and will resume Monday, eventually before the summit.

"If the UK offer turns out to be" take it or leave it, "it will be very difficult," said Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins. BBC on Sunday.

"It depends entirely on Mr. Johnson's will because from the European side, we are always open and we are waiting for an agreement."

& # 39; No more dither & # 39;

Johnson began calling European leaders this weekend to sell his proposals, speaking with Macron on Sunday after talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Saturday.

Rutte tweeted that he had told Johnson that "important questions remain about British proposals" and that "there is a lot of work to do" before the summit.

Barnier said at an event in France on Saturday that while an agreement was still possible, "it will be very difficult to reach."

The British leader hopes that the threat of a disorderly exit without agreement in less than three weeks can force the EU to commit.

That is despite the fact that British parliamentarians passed a law last month that requires that they look for another Brexit delay if they don't reach an agreement at the end of the summit.

Barclay said Sunday that the government would comply with the legislation.

But in identical articles for two British tabloids that support Brexit, Johnson insisted that the country will leave the block later this month.

"There should be no illusions or misunderstandings," he wrote on Sunday Express and The Sun on Sunday.

“There will be no more hesitations or delays. On October 31 we will finish Brexit. ”

& # 39; Ready to work & # 39;

The British proposals submitted to Wednesday in Brussels focus on how to manage the post-Brexit border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the EU member Ireland.

Johnson wants the delegated assembly of Northern Ireland, which has been suspended for almost three years, to vote every four years if EU regulations must be maintained there instead of the British ones.

He has also proposed that the province leave the EU customs union along with the rest of Britain, with the controls required to rely on unproven technology and carried out outside the sensitive border.

Brussels has said that the plans "do not provide a basis for concluding an agreement."

He sees the potential for unbridled smuggling, while Ireland is concerned that trade unionists in Northern Ireland have an effective veto.

Barclay, who will travel to Amsterdam on Sunday to hold talks about Brexit, suggested that Britain might be willing to consider alternative ways to meet its objectives.

"We are ready to work on that," he said.

The leader of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, said Saturday that there is "a lot of time" to propose alternatives and that he was trying to organize a meeting with Johnson next week, Irish broadcaster TEN reported.


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