European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has instructed Sky News that “we can have a deal” on Brexit.
Mr Juncker mentioned a no-deal Brexit would have “catastrophic consequences” and mentioned he was doing “everything to get a deal”.
And he mentioned he was ready to eliminate the so-called backstop from a withdrawal settlement, as long as “the objectives are met – all of them”.
In a UK unique interview with Sky’s Sophy Ridge, Mr Junker confirmed that he has been despatched paperwork by Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlining draft concepts for a new Brexit deal.
Mr Juncker, nonetheless, mentioned they’d arrived late on Wednesday evening, and he had but to learn them.
But he agreed that a deal would revolve round the concept that Northern Ireland would observe EU guidelines on meals and agriculture, with different checks being completed away from the border.
“It is the basis of a deal. It is the starting and the arrival point,” he mentioned. “The internal market has to be preserved in its entirety.”
The 64-year-old, who spent practically 20 years because the prime minister of Luxembourg, turned president of the fee 5 years in the past. His time period finishes on 31 October, the identical day that the United Kingdom is because of depart the European Union.
Earlier this week, he met the PM in Luxembourg – the primary time the 2 males have met since Mr Johnson took over in Number 10. They spoke for 2 hours over a working lunch earlier than Mr Johnson went off for his ill-fated assembly with Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.
“I had a meeting with Boris Johnson that was rather positive,” Mr Juncker mentioned.
“I feel we can have a deal. I’m doing all the things to have a deal as a result of I do not like the thought of a no-deal as a result of I feel this may have catastrophic penalties for at the least one yr.
“We are ready for no-deal, and I hope Britain is ready as effectively – however I’m not so positive.”
Asked if he had acquired the proposals from the British authorities, he mentioned they’d arrived “yesterday evening” but had received no opportunity to read them yet. But he added that he had spoken to Mr Johnson on the phone “with out understanding the content material of the British proposals”.
But Mr Juncker did verify to Sky News that he was now ready to eliminate the controversial backstop plan, designed to forestall the return of a arduous border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, however extensively criticised as having the potential to tie Britain to European Union guidelines for an indefinite period of time.
Britain’s new proposals is believed to revolve round a assortment of concepts, referred to as the choice preparations, designed to supply a suite of separate ensures that might fulfill politicians in Brussels and London, whereas avoiding the necessity for infrastructure on the border.
Mr Juncker mentioned: “I used to be asking the Prime Minister the opposite day to make concrete proposals so far as so-called different preparations are involved, permitting us and Britain to attain the principle targets of the backstop. I do not have an emotional relationship to the backstop. If the outcomes are there, I do not care about it.”
Asked if that meant that the backstop might go, he answered: “if the targets are met – all of them – then we do not want the backstop. It was a assure, not an goal by itself.”
He stays hopeful that a deal can be completed earlier than he leaves workplace.
“Brexit will occur,” mentioned Mr Juncker.
Full interview in Sophy Ridge on Sunday at 8.30am