London (AFP) – EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier mentioned Saturday the bloc won’t change the divorce deal agreed with Britain and that he’s “not optimistic” of avoiding a no-deal final result.
Barnier mentioned probably the most contentious component of the settlement, the so-called backstop mechanism geared toward protecting the Northern Irish border open in all circumstances, should stay.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took energy final month, has known as for the supply to be scrapped in an effort to attain a brand new deal forward of the nation’s newest October 31 departure date.
Johnson has mentioned he was inspired in his bid to axe the backstop by current conferences with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, who appeared to counsel an openness to alternate options.
However writing in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph, Barnier mentioned Brussels remained unconvinced after “intense discussions with EU member states on the necessity to assure the integrity of the EU’s Single Market, whereas protecting that border totally open”.
“The backstop is the utmost quantity of flexibility that the EU can supply to a non-member state,” he said.
“I’m not optimistic about avoiding a ‘no deal’ situation however I stay decided to discover all avenues that the UK authorities will current which might be suitable with the withdrawal settlement,” Barnier added.
The EU negotiator additionally mentioned discussions about alternate options to the backstop couldn’t start till Britain had accepted the divorce deal struck with Johnson’s predecessor Theresa Could late final yr.
It was subsequently rejected thrice by British MPs, main Brexit to be delayed to October 31.
“We’re prepared to start out this work instantly upon ratification of the withdrawal settlement, in parallel to lastly creating readability on our future relationship,” Barnier said.
He added that if Britain left the EU with out a deal it might be London’s resolution.
“Many individuals within the UK perceive that and I’d be shocked in the event that they succumb to the concept the EU is accountable for a troublesome political scenario within the UK.”