British PM Johnson warns EU he will not delay Brexit

LONDON British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned

the European Union on Sunday he will not delay Brexit beyond October 31,

underlining that his latest proposals are a last chance to reach a deal.

Johnson told French President Emmanuel Macron in a telephone call on Sunday

that the EU should not be lured into the mistaken belief that the UK will

stay in the EU after October 31st, a Downing Street spokesman quoted him as

saying.

The UK premier said he would not request another delay, despite British MPs

passing a law last month that requires him to seek another Brexit delay if he

fails to secure an agreement by the end of a make-or-break EU summit on

October 17-18.

This law was undermining negotiations, but if EU leaders are betting that

it will prevent no deal, that would be a historic misunderstanding, a senior

Downing Street source said.

The UK has made a big, important offer but it's time for the (European)

Commission to show a willingness to compromise too. If not the UK will leave

with no deal, the source added.

European leaders have reacted tepidly to London's latest propositions.

Britain has urged the EU to intensify talks over the proposals, as European

leaders warned it must revise its plans within days in order to conclude a

deal this month.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said the bloc needed to show creativity

and flexibility ahead of October 31 when Johnson has vowed to end the

country's 46 years of EU membership with or without an agreement.

With the EU asking for reworked proposals within days, an Elysee Palace

spokesperson said Macron agreed in his call with Johnson that talks between

EU top negotiator Michel Barnier's team and British officials should continue

in the coming days to assess if an agreement is possible by the end of the

week.

Barclay reiterated that the ideas Johnson has formally submitted to

Brussels were a broad landing zone and intense negotiations were now

necessary.

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

told the BBC.

We do need to get into the intensive negotiations on the text to clarify

what the deal is.

Barclay added the government was considering holding a parliamentary vote

ahead of the EU summit to show Brussels the plans have MPs' support.

European leaders had reportedly balked at Britain's request to keep initial

discussions on the proposals going through the weekend, and they will resume

on Monday, with time running out ahead of the EU summit.

'No more dither'

Johnson began phoning European leaders at the weekend to sell his

proposals, speaking to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Saturday.

Rutte tweeted he had told Johnson important questions remain about the

British proposals and there is a lot of work to be done ahead of the

summit.

Barnier told an event in France Saturday that while an agreement was still

possible it will be very difficult to reach.

The British leader is hoping the threat of a messy no-deal departure in

less than three weeks could force the EU to compromise.

Barclay said Sunday that the government would comply with the legislation

requiring Johnson to seek another delay if no deal is reached.

But in identical articles for two Brexit-backing British tabloids, Johnson

insisted the country will leave the bloc later this month.

� 'Ready to work' �

The British proposals submitted to Brussels 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 the UK, 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

agreement.

It sees the potential for rampant smuggling while Ireland is concerned

hardline Northern Irish unionists would have an effective veto.

Barclay, who travelled to Amsterdam Sunday for Brexit talks, suggested

Britain could be willing to consider alternative ways of meeting its aims.

We're ready to work on that, he said.

Ireland's leader Leo Varadkar said Saturday there is plenty of time to

put forward alternatives and he was trying to arrange a meeting with Johnson

next week, Irish broadcaster RTE reported.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)