Sunday, 18 November, 2018

United Kingdom leader in compromise with ministers on Ireland border

Michel Barnier GETTYMr Barnier accused the UK of failing to provide a firm negotiating position
Orlando Vargas | 08 June, 2018, 17:13

The EU has already been dismissing the United Kingdom blueprint, saying that a backstop can not be time-limited. None of the three ministers threatened to resign during the discussions, a spokeswoman for Mr May said.

Mr Barnier said he would examine the proposal "objectively".

Labour MP Jo Stevens, a champion for the anti-Brexit Best for Britain campaign, said: "Someone had to blink in this Brexican stand-off and, as has too often been the case, the prime minister has bowed to the pressure of the Brexit bully boys in her party". One thing which will nearly certainly be time-limited is the victory party, because the European Union will reject the proposal before it arrives in Brussels.

Theresa May pleaded with Tory rebels to get behind the Brexit legislation, insisting the United Kingdom has a "bright future" after leaving the European Union.

"This is a fudge".

Best for Britain has lined up a group of MPs who will put down an amendment in parliament this autumn calling for a second referendum on the country's membership of the European Union once Theresa May has obtained a final exit deal from her negotiations with the 27-country bloc. We need to take control of this process and restore our global image.

The idea of the backstop is controversial with eurosceptics, who fear it will keep Britain tied to the EU's rules for years after it leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019.

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The document also says the United Kingdom would be able to implement new trade deals - something which Brussels may push back against.

"The backstop paper has been amended and now expresses, in much more detail, the time-limited nature of our proposal - something the prime minister and David Davis have always been committed to".

The government decided not to change an amendment that would force it to try to negotiate a customs union with the EU that is shaping up to be the most contentious vote in parliament next week, an official with the opposition Labour Party said.

It suggests effectively abiding by the EU's customs rules for another year after the end of the mooted transition period in December 2020.

The paper was issued after Mr Davis was believed to have insisted the United Kingdom should be able to unilaterally withdraw from any border agreement to maintain leverage with Brussels in negotiations.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator was giving his first substantial reaction to the U.K.'s alternative "backstop" proposal to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland if negotiators fail to reach agreement. "Our backstop can not be extended to the whole United Kingdom why because it has been designed for the specific situation of Northern Ireland", he said, adding that what was "feasible" for the relatively small territory of Northern Ireland was not necessarily feasible for all of the United Kingdom.

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