UK indicates it may ‘clarify’ new Brexit offer to EU
London, Oct. 5 (IANS): The UK has indicated that it could “clarify” its new Brexit offer after the European Union (EU) called for “fundamental changes”, a media report said on Saturday.
Talks will resume on October 7 after the EU said the UK’s proposed alternative to the Irish backstop could not be the “basis” for a legally-binding treaty.
The UK has said it would work on the details before then but there was “no path” to a deal without alternative arrangements in Northern Ireland.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted the only options were a “new deal or no deal”.
Earlier on Friday, he posted a message on social media saying there would be “no delay” to the UK’s exit beyond the October 31 deadline.
This was despite the government stating, in papers submitted to a Scottish court, that Johnson would comply with legislation passed by Parliament, known as the Benn Act, which will require the Prime Minister to send a letter to the EU asking for a further three-month Brexit extension if a no deal was agreed by October 19 – a day after a crucial summit of European leaders.
The UK has said that its new proposals, presented on Wednesday, represent a “significant” shift and the basis for a “fair and reasonable compromise” after months of deadlock.
Meanwhile, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage told the BBC that Johnson was “deluding” himself if he thought he could do a deal, saying the odds were “hovering close to zero”.
He said that Brexiteers’ trust in the Prime Minister would “evaporate” if he failed to keep his promises to meet the October 31 deadline.
The opposition Labour Party’s Barry Gardiner also told the BBC that Johnson seemed to be “lying to himself” over the Brexit deadline and he had a “tangential grasp” of the truth.
But Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said Johnson was “sincere” in his intentions and was focused on bridging the gap between the two sides.