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EU rejects UK PM's Brexit backstop plan

Aug '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The European Union (EU) rejected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call to drop the Irish backstop from any Brexit deal, with European Council President Donald Tusk terming the backstop ‘an insurance to avoid’ a hard Irish border till an alternative is found. A European Commission task force termed a letter from Johnson ‘misleading’ and ‘inaccurate’.

The task force said it ‘regrets’ that London “wants to replace a legally operative solution with a commitment to try to find a solution”. It also said it ‘regrets’ the lack of any "concrete proposals as to what these alternative arrangements could be."

Tusk responded to Johnson's letter by saying that anyone ‘not proposing realistic alternatives’ to the backstop does ‘in fact support re-establishing a border. Even if they do not admit it’.

Johnson’s letter to Tusk said the United Kingdom could legislate to ensure no infrastructure on the Irish border and urged the EU for the same. He also said the two sides should discuss so-called ‘alternative arrangements’ for policing the border, and promised to make other ‘commitments’ in case the measures are not ready by the final departure date, according to European media reports.

Tusk's tweet was a ‘reaction that we share’, Commission spokesperson Natasha Bertaud told reporters in Brussels.

Welcoming the British Government's engagement and continued commitment to an orderly withdrawal, she said, “the letter doesn’t provide a legal operational solution to prevent the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland, it doesn’t set out what any alternative arrangements could be, and in fact it recognises that there is no guarantee that such an arrangement will be in place by the end of the transitional period”. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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