• Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Friday that “time was running out” for Britain and the EU to work out a divorce deal before Britain exits the bloc. Coveney also noted that “the moment of truth was approaching.”
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has continued to promise that “Britain will leave the EU on Oct. 31 whether or not a deal has been agreed with the bloc, and while both sides say they are keen to reach an agreement, there is little sign of the deadlock being broken.”
  • Opponents of Johnson says that “leaving the EU without a deal to keep most of its trading arrangements in place would plunge Britain into economic chaos.”
  • However, the U.K. “government says it has made preparations to avoid serious disruption.”
  • Before Johnson took office, “the EU agreed to a withdrawal package with former Prime Minister Theresa May but this was rejected three times by the British parliament over the “Irish backstop.”
  • This is “an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.”
  • While Coveney held a “meeting with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels,” he “said negotiations had to be on the basis of a serious proposal from the British on how they would replace the backstop.”
  • Coveney told reporters: “That hasn’t happened yet and until there is a serious proposal in writing … then the gaps that are wide at the moment will remain. And time is running out.”
  • Barnier remarked that “the bloc was firmly united on insisting on a legally operative fix for the Irish border issue, saying it needed to avoid a hard border and protect the integrity of the EU’s single market.”
  • Coveney said: “The onus is on the British prime minister and his team,” and added “that Ireland was open to extending the Brexit departure date.”
  • Coveney added: “An extension is preferable to no deal.”
  • Johnson said: “We will obey the law, but we’re confident we can come out on Oct. 31 and the best way to do that is to get a deal.”
  • Johnson added: “That’s why the surrender act is so damaging. It has had the effect with our European friends making them think: ‘maybe parliament can block this thing, maybe they will be forced to extend.’ If you’re in a negotiation that obviously makes it more difficult.”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: Moment of truth coming for Brexit with time running out, EU and Britain say READ
  • The Journal.ie: Coveney warns that ‘time is running out’ after Brexit meeting with Barnier READ
  • Irish Mirror: Simon Coveney claims ‘time is running out’ to stop Britain from crashing out of European Union READ
  • The Telegraph: Ireland says Britain could have to stay part of EU for 4 years after Brexit deal agreed READ

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