Boris Johnson is ‘hopeful’ of reaching deal with EU

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London on June 14, 2020. – AFP

Despite deadlocked negotiations and the tensions created by a British bill revoking past commitments, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson assured on Wednesday that he was “hopeful” of reaching a post-Brexit agreement with the European Union.

“This is not what this country wants,” the conservative leader said of a potentially devastating “no deal” for the economy. “And that’s not what our friends and partners in the EU want from us. This is why I am optimistic that this will not be the outcome ”of the negotiations, he continued.

The European ultimatum runs until the end of September

Boris Johnson, however, refused to cede ground on the bill partially reversing certain commitments made in the agreement governing the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU at the end of January. This text, which by his government’s own admission violates international law, crossed a first obstacle in the British Parliament on Monday despite the sling of part of the conservative camp, being approved by 340 votes for and 263 against.

The rest of the parliamentary progress of this draft law on the internal market, however, promises to be more uncertain. Threatening legal action, the Europeans have given London until the end of the month to withdraw the controversial provisions, which call into question customs rules for Northern Ireland intended in particular to avoid the restoration of a border physical between the Republic of Ireland, member of the EU, and the British province.

The scenario of a “no deal” always plausible

“I prefer to have protections that guarantee the integrity of this country and protect against a potential break from the United Kingdom,” he insisted. He considered that the Europeans had “manifestly failed” to guarantee the absence of a “blockade” in trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain in the event of a “no deal” at the end of a transition period. ending at the end of 2020.

In this context, Europeans and British are still trying to negotiate an agreement on their future trade relationship. But the latest discussions have not resulted in any major breakthrough. The two parties affirmed that an agreement should be reached in October to avoid a “no deal” which would result from January 1 in customs duties between the United Kingdom and the European bloc and risk aggravating the crisis caused. by the coronavirus.

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