Published On: Wed, Aug 28th, 2019

Brexit news: Varadkar told to hold emergency Brexit talks with Boris Johnson | UK | News


Dublin descended into panic after the Queen approved Boris Johnson’s strategy to prevent Tory rebels and opposition MPs from blocking his Brexit plans as the October deadline fast approaches. Politicians in the Irish capital demanded an early return from their summer holidays to hold crisis talks. Meanwhile Simon Coveney, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, warned there was insufficient time available to negotiators to rework the controversial withdrawal agreement, negotiated with Mr Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May.

Eamon Ryan, leader of the Green Party, said: “I am asking Leo Varadkar to use his powers under standing order 26 to initiate an early return of the Dail.

“We need to debate what is happening with Brexit and have full transparency in our response to the evolving crisis in Westminster.”

Speaking in Paris, Mr Coveney insisted a no deal Brexit must be blamed on politicians in Westminster, including “grandstanding” Remainers who have failed to live up to their expectations.

He went on to maintain Brussels would continue to block wholesale renegotiations of the withdrawal agreement that are part of Mr Johnson’s demands in order to strike a deal.

And even if Brussels were to make a drastic U-turn, negotiators would not have sufficient time to deliver changes before October 31.

Mr Coveney said: “A no deal would not be our choice, it will not be France’s choice and it will not be the EU’s choice it will be the choice of the UK Government and the British Parliament collectively if they choose to allow it or indeed to deliberately trigger it no amount political grandstanding or attempts to shift the blame can change this fact.

“As the European Council has consistently made clear the withdrawal agreement, including the now famous backstop, cannot simply be renegotiated.

“Even if we wanted to do that, which we don’t, we can’t do it in six or ten weeks.

READ MORE: Queen agrees to suspend Parliament

Sources think he is attempting to squeeze hardline Brexiteers into limiting their demands.

One EU source said: “It does look like a massive poker move.

“If the game becomes to constrain the options of MPs so very much that they have to accept any deal, then maybe that reduces the pressure on Johnson to get substantial changes to the deal, and a narrow pathway could be found with cosmetic changes.”

David Frost, the Prime Minister’s chief negotiator, briefed EU officials on the plans today.

Brussels does not expect any formal proposals to emerge from London before the Queen’s Speech or Conservative Party conference in October.

A source said: “We weren’t expecting him to come with concrete proposals, even less so now that it sounds like the 30-day deadline now runs until October.”

A European Commission spokeswoman said: “Our working assumption is Brexit should occur on October 31 and that should happen with a deal.”

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, insisted the bloc is still ready to consider British proposals that are “compatible with the withdrawal agreement”.

During a trip to Denmark, he said: “The EU27 is always ready to examine UK proposals, as long as they are combatively with the withdrawal agreement, Good Friday Agreement and integrity of the single market.”



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