LONDON, Aug 20 (Reuters / EP) –
The president of the British Conservative Party, James Cleverly, has defended on Tuesday that the European Union must show flexibility in terms of the solution for the border with Northern Ireland since the question of whether the United Kingdom leaves the block with or without agreement essentially corresponds to Brussels.
“The decision of whether or not we leave without agreement is now largely in the hands of EU negotiators,” Cleverly told Sky News, adding that the insistence of the bloc regarding the so-called 'backstop' –the mechanism of Emergency for the border between Ireland and Ulster– is the main point of friction.
“We will leave on October 31 whatever happens and I believe that the recognition of that desire will help negotiators understand what they have to do,” he added.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday sent a letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, in which he proposed replacing the emergency plan or 'backstop' with a formal commitment and with guarantees of not introducing physical barriers at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“The government will not build infrastructure or controls on the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. We would love to accept a legally binding commitment in this regard and we hope that the EU is also ready,” Johnson said in the letter, published by the British Government.
Johnson believes that the emergency plan is “simply unfeasible” because it is “undemocratic and incompatible with the sovereignty of the United Kingdom as a State.”
“The United Kingdom and the EU have already agreed that an 'alternative pact' may be part of the solution. Therefore, I propose that the 'backstop' be replaced by a commitment to implement these pacts before the end of the transition period in the as much as possible, “explains the letter.
Thus, he expresses his willingness to face a new negotiation in a “constructive and flexible” way to achieve those pacts that provide confidence about what will happen if a definitive agreement is not reached at the end of the transition period.