A construction worker works outside European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. British Brexit negotiator David Frost is continuing technical negotiations at EU headquarters on Friday, seeking ways to find a breakthrough in the stalled UK-EU divorce negotiations. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

The Latest: Germany: UK Brexit proposal is important step

October 04, 2019 - 6:31 am

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

11:25 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman is welcoming the fact has Britain has made proposals to break the Brexit deadlock, but notes that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is describing them as “an opening offer.”

Steffen Seibert said Friday that Merkel spoke with Johnson by phone on Wednesday, but Seibert stressed that negotiations are a matter for the European Union’s executive Commission.

Seibert says that Britain making proposals is “an important step,” though he added that Johnson “has himself underlined the fact that this is an opening offer.”

He says that an agreement “must preserve the integrity of the single market, (it) must be operable and it must avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

He didn’t comment further on Johnson’s proposal, which several European officials have made clear falls short of requirements.

Seibert reiterated that a no-deal Brexit “is in no one’s interest,” but preparations are underway for that outcome.

____

9:08 a.m.

Britain’s minister for Europe says he’s hoping European Union leaders enter talks on the U.K. government’s latest Brexit deal in a “fair spirit,” otherwise the country will leave the bloc at the end of the month without an agreement.

Christopher Pincher called the British government’s new Brexit proposal “a good, fair and reasonable compromise” that presents a “broad landing zone” for talks that would enable the U.K. to leave the 28-member bloc in an “orderly and friendly way” on Oct. 31.

Pincher was speaking Friday after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

Key European leaders have already said they consider that the measures British Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposed on Thursday fall far short of the concessions needed to forge a deal.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()