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Brussels sees the vital backstop and stresses that Johnson’s alternative “is not satisfactory”

October 9, 2019

Barnier, who sees Thursday with Barclay, says the deal is possible, but difficult


The European Commission on Wednesday closed the door to a solution for the Brexit agreement that limits the Irish safeguard over time or gives the veto over this safety net to “a third party”, referring to Northern Ireland, So he stressed that the London alternative “is not satisfactory.”

The College of Commissioners has been informed by the European chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, about the state of the negotiations and has unanimously concluded that the alternative advocated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “is not a satisfactory proposal.”

This was communicated by the German commissioner, Gunther Oettinger, at a press conference in Brussels at the end of the Community Executive meeting. The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and Juncker himself, appear this Wednesday before the full European Parliament to report the situation.

“The 'backstop' does not make sense if it is limited in time, if within two or three years it is automatically suppressed. Nor can it be suspended or modified by a third party, because Northern Ireland will be a third party,” he said. trenched Oettinger, for whom the safeguard as designed is “vital”.

In any case, contacts between Brussels and London are maintained at a technical level to try to find a solution that avoids a chaotic divorce on October 31 and Thursday is scheduled to have lunch in the European capital Barnier and the responsible British minister of Brexit, Steve Barclay.

Although a deadline has not been publicly set to close an alternative agreement in time to avoid Brexit a brave, the European block sees as a key date the summit that will bring together EU heads of State and Government from 17 to 18 October.

Thus, Barnier has argued that he believes the agreement is still “possible”, although in his opinion it will be “very difficult” to get it. “The European Union is calm, vigilant, respectful and constructive,” summed up the European negotiator, in statements to the British chain Sky News.

The economic commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, has also advocated continuing efforts for a viable agreement. “As Juncker said, we must avoid the reproach game and try to find solutions, constructively, until the last moment,” he told reporters in Luxembourg.