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EU boosts 'no-deal' planning as UK refuses to blink in Brexit stalemate

Britain said explicitly this week it plans to break international law by breaching parts of the Withdrawal Agreement treaty it signed in January, when it left the bloc

European Union | Brexit | UK

William James & John Chalmers | Reuters  |  London/Brussels 

EU chief negotiator Michael Barnier , EU, BREXIT
EU chief negotiator Michael Barnier leaves after the EU-Brexit talks in central London | Photo: Reuters

The stepped up planning for a “no-deal” on Friday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government refused to revoke a plan to break the divorce treaty with a Bill that Brussels says will sink four years of talks.

Britain said explicitly this week it plans to break law by breaching parts of the Withdrawal Agreement treaty it signed in January, when it left the bloc. The EU has demanded that Britain scrap by the end of this month the plan to breach the divorce treaty. Britain has refused, saying its Parliament is sovereign above law.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday, after talks in London, that the bloc was increasing its planning for a no-deal at the end of this year after trade talks made little progress.

Barnier said: “Nobody should underestimate the practical, economic and social consequences of a 'no deal' scenario.”

Britain rejected Barnier’s view. Its Parliament will debate the Bill on Monday. Johnson is set hold talks with colleagues in the Conservative Party as he seeks to tackle a revolt from MPs who are dismayed at his plans to breach law.

Britain hits out at EU

Britain rejected the suggestion by the EU that it did not engage with Brussels on talks over a future relation-ship, a source said. “We don't recognise the suggestion that we've not engaged, we've been engaged in talks pretty consistently for many months now.” Reuters

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First Published: Sat, September 12 2020. 02:26 IST