UK Government Rejects ‘Technical’ Brexit Extension Beyond 31 October

The UK is geared to exit the European Union on the 31st October, the deadline set by the EU. While former PM Theresa May was open to extensions to the deadline, PM Boris Johnson has been adamant that he would be leaving the EU with or without a deal on that date

UK chief negotiator David Frost reportedly sat down with EU officials this week, the beginning of a series of talks which will see him take part in weekly negotiations in Brussels.

According to the leaked document EU diplomatic note outlined that Mr Frost dismissed the idea of a “technical” extension to negotiations in private conversation.

However Mr Frost assured the EU officials that changes to the withdrawal agreement would be possible in the second half of October, once parliamentary suspension ends.

The EU also is alleged to have last-minute contingency plans in place for the European Parliament to ratify the agreement if both parties approve.

Boris Johnson has taken the position, even prior to his election to the position of Prime Minister, that the UK would leave the EU on 31 October “do or die”, with or without a deal.

The news that the UK government does not plan to extend the negotiations comes as Nigel Farage claims he would be willing to enter into an electoral pact to ensure that the UK leaves the EU by the established deadline.

The PM made trips to Berlin and Paris last week in an attempt to get the Irish backstop in the withdrawal agreement removed, which is designed to prevent a hard-border in Ireland.

After previously saying that the terms of the deal were nonnegotiable, Chancellor Merkel of Germany and President Macron of France agreed to allow for a 30-day window to come up with an alternative to the backstop.However, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney claimed that the UK is yet to present anything “credible” to replace the backstop.

While at a visit to Helsinki, the foreign minister said: “I’m sure if he [Boris Johnson] wanted five days of negotiations a week that the EU would be OK with that. Michel Barnier is there as the chief negotiator for the EU for that purpose. He has a team that’s ready to go, we all want to get a deal. But at the moment nothing credible has come from the British government in the context of an alternative to he backstop. If that changes, great, we’ll look at it in Dublin but more important it can be the basis of a discussion in Brussels. But it’s got to be credible.”

Source: News Agencies