Brexit: EU ‘willing to revisit NI-only backstop’

David Sassoli
Image caption The president of the European Parliament stated revisiting the NI-only backstop was an ‘act of belief and dialogue’

The EU has stated it’s prepared to revisit the proposal of a Northern-Ireland solely backstop to break the Brexit impasse.

The head of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, stated there can be no settlement and not using a backstop in some kind.

But on Wednesday, Boris Johnson dominated out an NI-only backstop.

The UK is due to depart the EU on 31 October and not using a deal except each side can attain a compromise.

Mr Sassoli was talking at a press convention after a gathering of the Conference of Presidents with EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

UK officers have been in Brussels for conferences this week with Mr Barnier’s workforce.

Image copyright Toby Melville/pa
Image caption Boris Johnson says he has an ‘abundance of proposals’ to substitute the backstop – however has not detailed what any of them are

The backstop has proved to be essentially the most contentious a part of the Brexit negotiations.

It is the insurance coverage coverage to keep away from a tough border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit, except and till one other answer is discovered.

MPs had voted down the backstop and withdrawal settlement negotiated by Theresa May, which might have saved the entire UK in a “temporary customs territory” with the EU and would have seen Northern Ireland solely additionally persevering with to observe different EU guidelines.

The DUP had opposed it, saying it could create a border down the Irish Sea and threat the way forward for the union.

Image copyright Dan Kitwood/getty photographs
Image caption DUP leaders met the prime minister on Tuesday as strain grows on Downing Street to attain a take care of the EU

There had been hypothesis in latest days that the UK was contemplating returning to the thought of a Northern-Ireland solely backstop, which had initially been proposed by the EU within the early levels of the negotiations in 2017.

The DUP had insisted it and Number 10 wouldn’t again such a proposal as it could not have “unionist consent”.

After talks with Boris Johnson on Tuesday, the DUP stated it was exploring all-island “arrangements” on meals requirements and animal security as a part of an answer to substitute the backstop.

But on Thursday, the EU stated it was “unhappy” that it had nonetheless not acquired any credible proposals from the UK.

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Media captionWhat does the UK make of the Brexit drama?

Mr Sassoli stated a draft decision, to be thought of by the European Parliament subsequent week, states its preparedness to return to the “original EU proposal” of an NI-only backstop.

“You can’t have an agreement without the backstop, it couldn’t really be any clearer,” he added.

‘Firmness and readability’

He added that the indicators the EU is getting is that there’s “no initiative” from the UK proper now that would reopen the Brexit negotiations.

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Media captionBBC News NI’s political reporter Jayne McCormack explains why the border is a matter

The subsequent EU summit is due to happen on 17-18 October, simply a number of weeks earlier than the UK is due to depart the EU on 31 October.

The prime minister has insisted he won’t ask the EU for an additional extension to the deadline, and stated the UK can be prepared to depart with or and not using a deal.

He has stated he hoped a deal could possibly be reached and that he has an “abundance of proposals” to substitute the backstop – however has not detailed what they is likely to be.

The Irish authorities has stated it could even be prepared to take a look at a “Northern Ireland specific-solution”.

Mr Sassoli stated the EU had “reached a moment where we need to express our positions with firmness and clarity”.

What was the NI-only backstop?

Proposed by the EU, it could have saved Northern Ireland within the EU’s customs union, which might have meant making use of EU tariffs for items coming into NI from outdoors the EU customs union – together with Great Britain.

It would even have utilized EU single market guidelines for items and animal merchandise in Northern Ireland.

This would have removed the necessity for checks on the Irish border, however would have led to checks on items passing between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

It was criticised by the DUP and different unionist events for “creating a border in the Irish Sea” and posing a threat to the union.

In February 2018, Theresa May stated no prime minister might again such a proposal.

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