European-British discussions on Brexit resumed on Monday in Brussels and Michel Barnier's team is waiting to see whether Boris Johnson has agreed to change his positions on the "problematic" issues of his exit plan from the EU.
David Frost, the British Prime Minister's envoy, was present for a first morning session with Paulina Dejmak-Hack, a member of the EU negotiator's team. A second meeting was scheduled in the afternoon, we learned from both parties.
"This will be an opportunity for the UK to present more detailed proposals," said Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva. She suggested that telephone and e-mail exchanges took place over the weekend, but no indication was given of new UK proposals.
"Every day counts," she warned. "We need a solution and no arrangements that can be revoked or left for further negotiation," she said.
Europeans deny London's veto power to North Irish assembly and executive and deem "problematic" the plan's proposals for customs controls between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland Ireland after Brexit.
"London wants to reach an agreement, but an agreement supported by parliamentarians implies a compromise of all parties," said Monday a British official. "The UK has made an important offer, but it is time for the Commission to show that it is also willing to compromise, otherwise the United Kingdom will leave without agreement" he warned.
- "Serious problems" -
The proposals presented last week by the British Prime Minister to replace the agreement concluded by Theresa May have been rejected by the Europeans as they stand. They gave the British a week, until Friday, to change them to avoid a "no deal" on October 31.
If the British government does not "come back with new proposals on two serious problems that we have reported to them, I do not see how we could advance," warned Michel Barnier, Saturday, at an event organized by the newspaper Le Monde .
The British minister responsible for Brexit was open on Sunday to discuss the sensitive issue of the Northern Irish arrangements in Boris Johnson's Brexit plan, while calling on the EU to be "flexible".
London can "discuss", said Brexit Minister Steve Barclay. "We can go into the details of the operational functioning" of the proposed measures for customs controls. The EU wants to avoid the reestablishment of a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland in order to preserve the Good Friday peace agreements in the British province.
French President Emmanuel Macron met Sunday with Boris Johnson and proposed a report "next weekend" on the feasibility of an agreement. The British Prime Minister again ruled out a new Brexit report, scheduled for October 31, during this meeting.
A law passed by the Parliament, however, forced him to postpone the date of divorce if there is no agreement at the European summit of 17 and 18 October, to avoid a "no deal" with potentially economic and social consequences disastrous.
A Scottish judge should decide on Monday if Boris Johnson may be forced to send a letter to Brussels to request a postponement, which would be the third, if there is no agreement on 19 October.
Boris Johnson will continue his strategy of opposition to a postponement "so that the voters who are in favor of a divorce know that he is doing it against his will and the European leaders will grant this extension despite the grunts over its duration and its conditions. ", said Monday the Eurasia think tank.
© 2019 AFP