Published On: Mon, Oct 7th, 2019

Boris Johnson makes ANOTHER push for Brexit deal after stubborn EU rejects PM’s plan | UK | News

David Frost tabled “additional legal text” to further explain the Prime Minister’s proposals to replace the Irish border backstop. Talks focused on Government plans to ensure Northern Ireland leaves the EU’s customs union with the rest of the UK. “Further technical detail on customs and goods regulations” were offered by Mr Frost to his negotiating counterparts.

But despite the proposals being rejected by Brussels, no new arrangements were offered by the Prime Minister’s top EU adviser.

A UK Government spokesman added: “They agreed to continue talks tomorrow.”

Brussels yesterday rejected the prospect of a “counter offer” being made to Britain by the end of the week.

Officials and diplomats said the UK appeared to be “laying the ground work for an extension” with its approach to the talks.

“Missing an opportunity, however small, is the last thing we want to do,” one EU diplomat said.

“But expecting a counter offer on a document that brings up so many fundamental questions?

“There is still a gap between the proposal and the landing zone the UK is seeking.”

And European sources also rebuffed Mr Johnson’s attempts to sideline Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, in phone calls to the bloc’s leaders.

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“It’s still a lively democracy, so I can’t imagine that the system would not push either the Prime Minister or the highest civil servant towards an extension.

“So that reduces the risk of no deal now. But if we don’t find a deal now it will increase the likelihood by January, because the risk is so high that you’ll end up with a hunt parliament.”

Another EU source said Mr Johnson’s proposals require too much work to have them ready ahead of next week’s leaders summit.

“In terms of what it requires in technical work, it won’t be done before the summit,” they said.

“What can be done in the timeframe is going to other, off-the-shelf models with tweaks.

“There’s two ways up from this that end with a deal: one is that it turns out Boris Johnson has more leeway and his priority is to have a deal by October 31 and we go for an off-the-shelf-model with tweaks, or two, this is part of a longer process.”

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Boris Johnson makes ANOTHER push for Brexit deal after stubborn EU rejects PM’s plan | UK | News