BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Council President Donald Tusk mentioned on Tuesday British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s calls for to drop the Brexit backstop got here with no “reasonable options” and amounted to looking for a return to controls alongside the delicate Irish border.
FILE PHOTO: European Council President Donald Tusk attends a information convention after the European Union leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium, July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
Tusk was responding to a letter wherein Johnson mentioned the backstop – an insurance coverage coverage to protect open borders on the island of Eire after Britain leaves the European Union – have to be erased for Britain to ratify its stalled EU divorce treaty.
“The backstop is an insurance coverage to keep away from a tough border on the island of Eire until and till an alternate is discovered,” Tusk mentioned on Twitter. “These in opposition to the backstop and never proposing reasonable options the truth is assist re-establishing a border. Even when they don’t admit it.”
His feedback had been echoed by the EU’s govt European Fee, which mentioned the backstop was the one method agreed to this point by the bloc and Johnson’s predecessor Theresa Could that may keep away from the reimposition of full Irish border controls.
“The letter doesn’t present a authorized operational answer to stop the return of a tough border on the island of Eire,” Fee spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud instructed a information briefing. “Our place on the backstop is well-known…It’s the solely means recognized to this point by each events to honor this dedication.”
The EU needs to make sure that its solely land border with the UK after Brexit doesn’t develop into a again door for items to enter the EU’s single market – which ensures free motion of products, capital, providers and labor.
Eire, backed up by Brussels, says checks may additionally unravel the 1998 Good Friday settlement that ended a long time of sectarian battle between unionists who needed Northern Eire to stay British and Irish nationalists who need Northern Eire to affix a united Eire dominated from Dublin.
Johnson is mounting a recent marketing campaign to persuade the EU to drop the backstop, vehemently opposed by Brexiteers because it may tie Britain to EU customs and different commerce guidelines for years after Brexit pending a brand new commerce take care of the EU, limiting its capacity to pursue sovereign commerce pacts around the globe.
The backstop was a key motive for the British parliament refusing on three events to ratify the withdrawal deal reached by Could’s authorities with the EU in late 2018. Could resigned in July and Johnson took workplace with a pledge to hold out Brexit by Oct.31 with or with no transition deal.
Johnson is because of meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron later this week for the primary time as prime minister. However the EU has already instructed him it could not alter divorce phrases.
A Finnish authorities spokesman mentioned on Tuesday this was additionally the message Johnson heard from Prime Minister Antti Rinne throughout a cellphone name the day prior to this.
“Prime Minister Rinne reiterated that the withdrawal settlement shall be not reopened,” the spokesman mentioned.
Further reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel and John Chalmers; Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Enhancing by Mark Heinrich