Eu officials are becoming increasingly frustrated and have given the UK a 48 hour deadline, to sort out the Irish backstop.
If the UK doesn’t come up with a deal around the Irish backstop by Friday then they will not be granted the breakthrough they need on a Brexit deal talks.
The UK is currently seeking changes to the withdrawal agreement to make it more palatable to Brexiteer MPs ahead of a crunch vote next week.
French Europe minister, Natalie Loiseau, said on Thursday morning there had been “no precise proposals” from the UK and that the EU side was still waiting.
A European Commission spokesperson had gone on the record on Wednesday to say talks so far had been “difficult and that no solution was in sight.”
Ms Loiseau told BBC Radio 4 early on Thursday:
“I’m not working on ifs and when’s, I’m working on the positions or the proposals of the British government. We are waiting for a proposal from the British government, we have heard what you don’t want, we are willing to know what you want”
“Let me tell you, there we no precise proposals, no. There were ideas, but there were never, until now – maybe there will be today because I know talks are going on in Brussels – but we are waiting for a sustainable proposal.”
Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar told the Irish parliament the UK had proposed no actual legal text for the EU side to consider.
After his latest meeting Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said on Wednesday:
“I cant reveal the discussions, they are private and confidential discussions but we are into the meat of the matter, both sides have exchanged robust, strong views and we are now facing the real discussions.”
A leaked diplomatic note from the EU side suggests the UK has proposed two possible changes to the controversial policy.
The note, first reported by BuzzFeed News, includes plans for an arbitration panel that would allow the backstop to end if one side or another was not judged to have taken “reasonable” steps to find alternatives to it.
The second proposal is that of a “mini-backstop” which would limit regulatory alignment only to areas crucial to avoiding infrastructure on the Irish border.
EU officials are said to have rejected both these plans because they believe they would undermine the certainty of the backstop preventing a hard border in Ireland.
Theresa May is expected to visit Brussels this weekend or on Monday, That’s only if there has been enough progress to produce some kind of concession?.
The prime ministers visit will come one day ahead of the second planned meaningful vote on her Brexit deal, where the Government hopes to overturn Brexiteer MPs’ first decision to reject the plan.
If her deal is rejected MPs are due to vote on a no-deal, then on Thursday whether Article 50 should be extended or not?
Fearful Brexiteer MPs do not like the backstop, becuase it may trap the UK in a permanent customs union with the EU. Theresa May relies on the DUP for a majority, but they do not like it because it treats Northern Ireland differently to the rest of the UK population.
The UK government agreed to the plan but then said it would renegotiate it after pressure from Tory MPs. Funnily enough the EU are scaremongering saying the policy is necessary to prevent a hard border in Ireland and preserve the peace process.
Post source: The Independent