European Parliament President David Sassoli, left, and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson | Aaron Chown/AFP via Getty Images
EP president: Johnson’s Brexit plans cast doubt on willingness to get a deal
‘I came here in the confident hope of hearing proposals that could take negotiations forward. However, I must note that there has been no progress.’
Updated 10/8/19, 10:13 PM CET
LONDON — If Boris Johnson’s latest Brexit proposals are all he has to offer, then the British prime minister “doesn’t want an agreement,” David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, told reporters following a meeting with Johnson in No. 10 Downing Street.
Johnson “has repeatedly stated that there has been this decision that the U.K. will exit the EU on 31 October,” Sassoli said Tuesday. “But he gave absolutely no indication” that he has plans to get a deal “relaunched.”
If Johnson’s ideas are “limited” to what he presented to Michel Barnier, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, “then he doesn’t want an agreement,” Sassoli added.
In a statement, Sassoli said: “I came here in the confident hope of hearing proposals that could take negotiations forward. However, I must note that there has been no progress.”
Sassoli met with Johnson for “a frank and non-bureaucratic” 40-minute meeting at a time of mounting tension between the EU and the U.K. on Brexit.
Last week, Johnson proposed a customs and regulatory arrangement to manage the Ireland-Northern Ireland border in place of the backstop provision that was negotiated by his predecessor,