BENGALURU – The European Union has rejected a British request to hold Brexit talks this weekend, British media reported, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated his commitment to leaving the bloc on October 31 despite the possibility of not reaching an exit deal.
The European Commission said Johnson’s new Brexit proposals did not provide any basis for finalising a separation agreement, according to Sky News.
Talks on Johnson’s plan to replace the Irish backstop will not take place over the weekend, EU Commission spokesperson Natasha Bertaud was quoted as saying by Sky. She added that the UK would be given “another opportunity to present its proposals in detail” on Monday.
“If we held talks at the weekend it would look like these were proper negotiations,” the Times newspaper had earlier cited an EU diplomat as saying. “We’re still a long way from that.”
Johnson consistently said he would not ask for a Brexit delay, reiterating the point on Friday. “New deal or no deal – but no delay. #GetBrexitDone #LeaveOct31”, he said in a tweet.
However, his government also acknowledged for the first time on Friday that Johnson would send a letter to EU asking for a Brexit delay if no divorce deal has been reached by October 19.