British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has 12 days to set out his Brexit plan, according to Finland’s prime minister.
Antti Rinne said he and French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday agreed the UK should give Europe a written copy of the proposals by the end of September. “We both agreed that it is now time for Boris Johnson to produce his own proposals in writing – if they exist. “If no proposals are received by the end of September, then it’s over,” Rinne told reporters after his meeting with Macron. In response, a Downing Street source told BBC News: “We will continue negotiating and put forward proposals at the appropriate time.” European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday told the European Parliament in Strasbourg the risk of a no-deal Brexit “remains very real”. “That will maybe be the choice of the United Kingdom but never the choice of the European Union,” Juncker said. EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, in remarks directed at pro-Brexit MEPs, said the consequences of a no-deal Brexit will be “much more serious, much more numerous than you want to say”. “After Brexit, you will be accountable to the citizens,” he told them.
‘Very little time left’
The warnings came two days after Juncker and Johnson met in Luxembourg for talks and just six weeks before Britain is set to exit the bloc. Johnson didn’t attend a related press conference after he was booed by anti-Brexit protesters. Juncker yesterday emphasised Britain still has not offered any viable solutions to rewrite a withdrawal agreement struck by Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May but rejected three times by the British parliament. “I am not sure” a new deal will be reached, Juncker said.
“We have very little time left. But I am sure we must try,” the Commission chief, whose mandate ends on 31 October – the current deadline for Britain to leave the EU – said. DUP leader Arlene Foster met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Government Buildings for 45 minutes last night where they discussed Brexit and ongoing efforts to restore the Northern Ireland Assembly. A statement released after the meeting said they “agreed to stay in touch”. Foster yesterday indicated for the first time that she may be open to a Brexit solution that would involve special arrangements for the North. British Chancellor Sajid Javid is due to meet Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe in Dublin today to discuss Brexit.