Economy

Barnier says EU's ready to give United Kingdom 'further guarantees' on Brexit backstop

Barnier says EU's ready to give United Kingdom 'further guarantees' on Brexit backstop”

Barnier also said that the EU's guarantees over the backstop could come as part of a wider political agreement outlining what Britain's relationship with the bloc looks like post-Brexit.

If the United Kingdom does not take part in the European elections while it is still officially a member of the bloc, "British nationals resident in the United Kingdom would be denied a core set of rights giving them EU citizenship status", the advice said.

The British parliament rejected the original Brexit deal hammered out by Prime Minister Theresa May and European Union leaders.

The Irish backstop - the "insurance mechanism" aimed at providing a hard border in Ireland - has been the key sticking point for many opponents of the deal in Westminster. Some MPs fear the arrangement, which would keep Britain tied to EU trade rules until another way is found to keep the frontier open, is a "trap" that could bind it to European commerce rules indefinitely.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mrs Leadsom, the Leave-voting leader of the House of Commons, and Remainer foreign secretary Mr Hunt, said no-deal would cause "ruptures" that could be avoided by the "far more attractive option in the PM's deal".

"Limiting it in time or introducing a unilateral exit clause would call into question its credibility", the EU's top Brexit negotiator insisted.

"We will not reverse the backstop".

A Brussels source said those talks could take place in the Belgian capital on Tuesday.

May has said that if her withdrawal agreement is rejected for a second time, with the vote due to take place by March 12, then there will be a vote on whether to request the European Union delay Brexit.

An Irish government spokesman declined to comment on the veracity of the report but said the Cabinet's focus was "solely on securing a deal" and pointed to a comment by Varadkar on Friday in which he said a British exit on March 29 without either a deal or an extension was unlikely.

The embattled leader is now seeking changes to the pact which she hopes will be enough to get it through parliament by March 12.

"We know what is needed to shift the logjam".

This could then require a preliminary ruling from the the European court of justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, the German legal experts said, on "whether or not Britain's non-participation in the European elections is legally permissible". The answer can not be that Britain wants to postpone a problem.



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