Brexit minister hints UK could soften stances in EU talks

LONDON Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay suggested

Sunday that Britain is open to compromise with the EU over new UK proposals

for Northern Ireland, but urged Brussels to show creativity and


Barclay reiterated Prime Minister Boris Johnson's latest plans for a

managed withdrawal from the bloc on October 31 were a broad landing zone

ahead of intense negotiations in the coming days.

We need to get into the intensive negotiations to clarify what the

deal is, Barclay told the BBC.

We've set out very serious proposals including compromise on our side.

We now need to see creativity and flexibility on the EU side in order to

reach that deal.

However, the European Union have reacted tepidly to the plans and urged

London to offer a revised, viable way forward.

The two sides will resume crunch talks Monday, with time running out ahead

of a crucial EU summit on October 17 18.

If the offer from the UK turns out to be a take it or leave it, it's

going to be very difficult I see in agreeing, Latvian Prime Minister

Krisjanis Karins told the BBC on Sunday.

It's fully dependent on the will of Mr Johnson because from the European

side, we're always open and looking towards a deal.

'No more dither'

The British proposals submitted to Brussels on Wednesday centre on how to

manage the post Brexit border between British province Northern Ireland and

EU member Ireland.

Johnson wants Northern Ireland's devolved assembly which has been

suspended for almost three years to vote every four years on whether to

maintain EU rather than British regulations there.

He has also proposed the province leaves the EU's customs union along with

the rest of Britain, with required checks to rely on untried technology and

carried out away from the sensitive border.

Brussels has said the plans do not provide a basis for concluding an


It sees the potential for rampant smuggling while Ireland is concerned

hardline Northern Irish unionists would have an effective veto.

Barclay hinted that Britain could be willing to consider alternatives to

the role of Northern Irish assembly to break the deadlock.

We can obviously discuss that mechanism, but the key issue is the

principle of consent to any regulatory zone, he said.

Similarly on the thorny issue of customs, the Brexit Secretary struck a

conciliatory note.

In the detail of the negotiations, of course we can get into the detail

as to how operationally they work, what legal certainty is required, he


Barclay will travel to Amsterdam later Sunday for Brexit talks while

Johnson has been phoning European leaders this weekend to sell his plans.

In identical articles for two Brexit backing British tabloids, Johnson

called for EU flexibility and reiterated that the country will leave the bloc

later this month with or without a deal.

They should be under no illusions or misapprehensions, he wrote in the

Sunday Express.

There will be no more dither or delay. On October 31 we are going to get

Brexit done.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)