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UK, EU ramp up Brexit talks

August 30, 2019

 

 

Boris Johnson said the UK and EU need to “step up the tempo” with bi-weekly Brexit talks. While Johnson tries to quickly renegotiate a divorce deal, his plans to suspend Parliament are being challenged in court.

 

British Brexit negotiators will start meeting twice a week in September with their European Union counterparts to ensure the UK will not crash out of the bloc without a deal in just a few weeks’ time, the British government said on Thursday.

 

The announcement comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson sparked outrage with his decision to suspend Parliament while promising to take Britain out of the EU on October 31, even without a transition agreement in place.

 

Johnson has demanded the current divorce deal be changed to remove the so-called Irish backstop, which outlines provisions on the Irish border.

 

“While I have been encouraged with my discussions with EU leaders over recent weeks that there is a willingness to talk about alternatives to the anti-democratic backstop, it is now time for both sides to step up the tempo,” Johnson said.

 

Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, had negotiated a deal with the EU, which was rejected three times in the house of commons.

 

The EU and many British lawmakers support the backstop as a way to avoid creating a hard border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland.

Britain has said that technological alternatives to border checks could be in place in the event that future trade talks with the EU break down.

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