EU ready to resume ‘deadlocked’ Brexit talks

The European Commission has said it remains ready to keep negotiating with the UK to ratify a Brexit deal by the end of the month.

With talks at an impasse, Margaritis Schinas, a spokesman for the commission said Brussels was ready to meet at any time with the UK to find a breakthrough over backstop arrangements for Ireland that have been roundly rejected by Brexit supporting MPs.

Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker spoke on the phone on Sunday after a weekend of technical talks where no progress was made and negotiations were stuck at “deadlock”.

Mr Schinas said no further political meetings between Mr Juncker and Mrs May were scheduled “but both sides will remain in close contact this week”.

“We remain open and willing to meet with UK negotiators at any time. We are committed to ratifying this deal before the 29th of March. It is now for the House of Commons to take the decisions,” added Mr Schinas.

Michel Barnier, the UK’s chief negotiator, revealed the three proposals the EU has offered the British government over the backstop on Friday. They were immediately rejected by Stephen Barclay, the UK’s Brexit secretary, as rerunning “old” ground.

Mr Schinas added: “We are committed to using our best endeavour to find a subsequent agreement that replaces the backstop. We are ready to launch a dedicated work stream on alternative arrangements during the transition period.”


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