As you know, we are not in a position to agree to anything that changes or is inconsistent with the Withdrawal Agreement, but against this background, and in order to facilitate the next steps of the process, we are happy to confirm, on behalf of the two EU Institutions we represent, our understanding of the following points within our respective fields of responsibility.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney: “The Irish position remains consistent and very clear that a ‘time-limited backstop’ or a backstop that could be ended by UK unilaterally would never be agreed to by Ireland or the European Union. These ideas are not backstops at all + don’t deliver on previous UK commitments.”
European Union negotiator Michel Barnier said on Friday a Brexit deal with the United Kingdom was 90 percent done, although there was still a chance no accord would be reached due to ongoing stumbling blocks over the Irish border. “Ninety percent of the accord on the table has been agreed with Britain,” European Union negotiator Michel Barnier told France Inter radio.
The leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said he had told the EU’s Brexit chief Michel Barnier in talks on Thursday that Britain’s withdrawal must not disrupt trade across the Ireland-Northern Ireland border. Corbyn said on Wednesday Labour would vote against a Brexit deal based on May’s own proposals, the strongest warning yet to a prime minister whose plan to leave the EU is hanging by a thread.