EU expects more from Boris Johnson

Brussels rejects the latest proposals of the British Prime Minister, well received in Westminster.

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EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on 3 October in Brussels.
EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on 3 October in Brussels. Virginia Mayo / AP

Nick Robinson, the presenter of BBC's flagship program "Today", summed up the situation on the Brexit front. "You find that the discussions around a divorce agreement are a little hard to follow? Let me help you. (Theresa) May negotiated an agreement that suited the European Union, but that rejected the deputies (British). Boris Johnson has just proposed an agreement that Parliament could probably support, but that the EU will certainly reject "…

This is indeed the fate that seems reserved for the "ultimate" offer of divorce agreement sent Wednesday, October 2 by the British Prime Minister in Brussels. Thursday, the European institutions have formalized their position: at this stage, the British proposal can not be the starting point for new negotiations.

From Paris to Berlin, Madrid or Warsaw, this is the conclusion reached by the ambassadors of the 27 member countries. Following telephone conversations with Johnson and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, European Council President Donald Tusk said he "Still not convinced".

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"Very big problems"

The European Parliament, which must also ratify the agreement, rejected the "Last minute proposals" from London, considering that, "In their present form", they "Do not form the basis of an agreement", said MEP Guy Verhofstadt, chairman of the "Brexit Steering Committee".

Boris Johnson's plan is for Northern Ireland to leave the European Customs Union, like the rest of the United Kingdom, but for the British province to continue to enforce EU rules on the movement of goods with the creation of a "Regulatory Area" extended throughout Ireland. All this, subject to the subsequent agreement of the Parliament and the Northern Ireland Executive.

"Two subjects, as they are, pose very big problems," entrusts a diplomat. The first concerns the customs controls that should be carried out between the two Irlandes since they will not be in the same customs union, Northern Ireland being with the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland with the European Union.


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