Brexit secretary to introduce new Irish backstop plan next week


UK Brexit  Secretary Steve Barclay said that Brussels is facing a “moment of truth” over whether it wants a compromise, adding that he would unveil his new plan for the Irish border once the Conservative Party conference has concluded, The Daily Mail reports.

According to the UK-based media report, the conference is slated for next Wednesday.

Barclay suggested earlier, cited by The Daily Mail, that a Brexit deal can be done.

“But there needs to be political will on both sides and we’re now approaching the moment of truth in these negotiations…we are committed to securing a deal, the Prime Minister has made clear he wants a deal but there has to be political will on both sides and that’s what we’re exploring”, Barclay said, cited by The Daily Mail.

Earlier this month the secretary also said the EU told him London “must provide legally operative text by the Oct. 31,” and that an “alternative to the backstop is not necessary until the end of the Implementation Period in December 2020”.

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Meanwhile, conservative MP and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve warned that the head of the government could declare a state of emergency in order to secure a no-deal scenario, using possible uproar across the country as a pretext for it.

“The message coming from Downing Street is we have to leave by October 31 or there will be riots… My suspicion is that they may be planning to use the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act to suspend that law on the grounds that otherwise there will be riots before and afterwards”, he said.

“WhatI find most shocking is that ministers seem to be actively promoting this idea to justify invoking the Civil Contingencies Act and declaring a state of emergency,” he added.

The British Parliament has previously barred the government from the no-deal Brexit, forcing PM Boris Johnson to negotiate an agreement with Brussels.

Both London and Brussels are reportedly at odds over to what extent Northern Ireland should be ‘left behind’ in the EU single market and customs union after Brexit under the controversial “backstop” – designed to prevent the return of a hard border in Ireland.

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Brexit has been postponed several times amid the London’s failure to internally negotiate the divorce terms and is now scheduled to take place on Oct. 13.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently confronted by strong opposition at home over his overt determination to pull the United Kingdom out of the bloc by the deadline, even if there is no deal.

He had asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament until Oct. 14 in an attempt to ensure the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union by the deadline, with or without a deal.

Under current legislation, the UK may request a 3-minth Brexit extension on 19 Oct. if a deal is not reached by that time. (Sputnik/)

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