U.K. PM Boris Johnson struggles to overcome opposition to Brexit deal
As Britain looks to make a respectable exit from the European Union by the end of this month, both parties seem to be on opposite ends of the pole on a potential Brexit deal. The Dutch government has urged the British government to offer “more realism and clarity”, while the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists the bloc has to soften its stance.
Just last week, Johnson sent the EU a “reasonable compromise” that will allow Britain to leave the bloc in a good order at the end of this month. However, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok, after their meeting with Britain’s Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, said “important questions still remain.”
Johnson has said the country will leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal. He said he will obey the law, but will not ask for a delay. It’s unclear how both statements can be reconciled. Johnson is currently in talks with multiple EU leaders, as he scrambles to overcome opposition to the proposal. The EU has reacted quite well to the UK’s plan for maintaining an open Irish border after Brexit.
Both parties have agreed there must be no checks or infrastructure along the border between EU member Ireland and the UK’s Northern Ireland. However, Britain wants to leave the EU’s customs union so it can strike new trade deals around the world, making some sort of checks on goods all but inevitable.
A key EU summit is scheduled for October 17-18. French President Emmanuel Macron has said the EU will decide by the end of this week whether a mutual divorce is possible. Johnson’s spokesman James Slack said, “We are ready to talk with the EU at pace to secure a deal.”