BREXIT AGREEMENT: Stumbling on the “backstop”, Ireland’s controversial clause in Brexit agreement negotiated between London and Brussels, but rejected by British Parliament
- The French president received this Thursday the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, at the Elysee Palace.
- Emmanuel Macron said he believes that “collective intelligence” should find “something smart within 30 days” about an agreement on Brexit to come.
- While Paris wants to “guarantee stability in Ireland” and “ensure the integrity of the single market”, London intends to preserve the “sovereignty of the British state”.
A solution could be found “within 30 days” on the issue of the Irish border (“backstop” clause) in order to achieve an orderly exit from the UK of the EU, said French President Emmanuel Macron, this Thursday, receiving British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Elysee Palace.
“I am, like Chancellor Merkel, confident that collective intelligence, our desire to build, must enable us to find something intelligent within 30 days if there is a goodwill on both sides. ‘Another, and that’s what I want to believe,’ he added to the press, saying that ‘the future of the UK can only be in Europe’.
The UK does not want to “establish border controls at any price”
The “backstop”, a controversial provision on Ireland in the Brexit agreement negotiated between London and Brussels, but rejected by the British Parliament , provides that, for lack of a better solution after a transitional period, and to avoid the return of a border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the entire United Kingdom remains in a “single customs territory” with the EU.
Boris Johnson believes that this device undermines the “sovereignty of the British state” and prevents it from conducting a commercial policy independent of EU rules. “The technical solutions are readily available,” said the British Prime Minister in front of his counterpart, adding that the United Kingdom did not “at any price establish controls at the border.” “I want an agreement,” said Boris Johnson . “I think we can have an agreement and a good agreement,” he added, saying he was “encouraged” by his meeting on Wednesday with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Ensuring stability in Ireland” and “Ensuring the integrity of the single market”
Angela Merkel, receiving it Wednesday in Berlin, had also found it possible to find “in the next 30 days” an agreement with London to avoid a non-negotiated divorce between the United Kingdom and the European Union on October 31st. The French president, reputed more inflexible, had, on the contrary, affirmed that “the renegotiation in the terms proposed by the British is not an option that exists”.
The French presidency also expressed its reservations about the chances of avoiding a “hard Brexit”, widely feared by the business community on both sides of the Channel, saying that ” today, the central scenario of Brexit is that of “no-deal” “. In front of his counterpart, Emmanuel Macron insisted on the respect of two conditions concerning the “backstop”: “to guarantee the stability in Ireland” and “to ensure the integrity of the single market”.