Economy

Macron gives one-week Brexit deal deadline

Macron gives one-week Brexit deal deadline”

Johnson discussed his proposals with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, an Elysee official said.

- Latvian prime minister Krisjanis Karins said Boris Johnson's Brexit offer is a "basis for negotiations" and said striking a deal was "fully dependent" on the will of Mr Johnson.

Brussels has said the plans "do not provide a basis for concluding an agreement".

Sterling fell in early London trading on Monday as investors grow increasingly concerned that Britain and the European Union were no closer to agreeing a Brexit withdrawal deal.

Johnson's proposals would see the United Kingdom territory of Northern Ireland effectively stay within the EU single market for goods but leave the common Customs Union, something which has been dubbed an "all-island regulatory zone" on the island of Ireland.

"But we have no plan as to what might happen if Parliament doesn't allow us to get Brexit done on October 31 because we intend to get it done on that date and that's the sole focus of this Government at the moment".

"We're ready to work on that", he said.

With the deadline approaching, Johnson has consistently said he will not ask for another delay to Brexit, but also that he will not break a law that forces him to request one if no withdrawal deal has been agreed by October 19.

European leaders have responded coolly to the UK's proposals, which would see Northern Ireland leave the customs union along with the rest of the United Kingdom, but remain in the single market for goods.

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According to The Telegraph, senior government figures told the newspaper that Mr Johnson is considering threats to veto the EU's 2021-2027 budget and to appoint a strongly Eurosceptic European commissioner, such as Nigel Farage, if he is forced into another Brexit delay.

Mr Barclay said the government was considering holding a parliamentary vote ahead of a make-or-break European Union summit on Oct 17-18 to show bloc leaders that Mr Johnson's plans have MPs' support.

"We do need to get into the intensive negotiations on the text to clarify what the deal is".

"The key issue is the principle of consent, that's why the backstop was rejected three times, that was the concern in terms of both sides in Northern Ireland not approving of the backstop", Stephen Barclay told the BBC's Andrew Marr on Sunday.

The EU's top negotiator Michel Barnier said at an event organised by French newspaper Le Monde last Saturday that while an agreement was still possible, it "will be very hard to reach". Under the United Kingdom plan there would be customs checks, but Britain says they could be conducted away from the border. "They should be under no illusions or misapprehensions", he added.

Ireland's leader Leo Varadkar said Saturday there is "plenty of time" to put forward alternatives and he was trying to arrange a meeting with Johnson next week, Irish broadcaster RTE reported.

He said lawmakers from every wing of his Conservative Party, from his allies in Northern Ireland's DUP and even from the opposition Labour Party had said they could get behind the deal.

But in identical articles for the Brexit-backing British tabloids the Sunday Express and the Sun on Sunday, Johnson said the bloc now needed to show "its own willingness to do a deal that the UK Parliament can support".



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