British govt pleads for EU deadline extension for Brexit plan

Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay has said the UK should be given ‘until December 2020’ to come up with an operative plan for Irish border.

Stephen Barclay said the UK should be given another year to find a new policy for the Northern Ireland border.

“We are told the UK must provide legally operative text by the 31 October,” the cabinet minister Mr Barclay said in a speech in Madrid on Thursday.

“Yet the alternative to the backstop is not necessary until the end of the implementation period in December 2020.

His request comes on the heels of an ultimatum given by Emmanuel Macron and the Finnish presidency of the EU issued an ultimatum in Paris on Wednesday, giving Boris Johnson until the end of September to table workable proposals – or “it’s over”.

The UK is yet to meet EU requests to propose a concrete alternative to the Irish backstop, which Mr Johnson says must be scrapped. EU officials fear they may be “led up the garden path” by British negotiators, who had been visiting the EU capital frequently for talks, but with little sign of actual progress.

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