Brexit negotiators from the EU and the UK will meet twice a week in September to take steps towards a new deal, said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday evening. At his request, “the pace is accelerated”.
The news follows a day after Johnson flooded with a flood of criticism after he suspended the British parliament. Critics fear that he will put other politicians offside by not allowing them to return until 14 October. That way there would be too little time to avert a ‘no deal Brexit’ later that month.
The new prime minister wants to show with the news that the time will be well used to come to a new deal, but whether that will be sufficient for opponents is not clear. A petition against the suspension of the parliament has already been signed more than one and a half million times.
It is possible that, in addition to the extra meetings, more ‘technical meetings’ are organized. Johnson is still hopeful about a new deal and says there are “alternative solutions to the anti-democratic Irish backstop.”
A spokesman for the European Commission tells BBC News that one can go back to the negotiating table and that the EU has always been prepared to bring the Brexit to a successful conclusion. “But the United Kingdom must come up with concrete proposals.”
With or without the deal, UK will leave EU
The United Kingdom must have left the European Union by 1 November at the latest. The Johnson government has announced on several occasions that the country will resign on 31 October, regardless of whether an agreement with Brussels precedes it.
The most difficult point is the so-called backstop, with which the EU wants to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
As an emergency solution, the resignation agreement states that if no solution is found for the Irish border, the British will remain in the European Customs Union. The UK could not conclude its own trade agreements and remains dependent on European trade policy.