The Latest: EU’s Brexit negotiator says he won’t back down

International By: The Bullet Wire 7:16 am

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

1:30 p.m.

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator is warning British Prime Minister Boris Johnson he will not back down before the Oct. 31 departure date and make concessions just to break a deadlock and avoid a chaotic no-deal departure of the U.K.

Michel Barnier warned Thursday that “in all circumstances, the EU will continue to protect the interests of its citizens and companies, as well as the conditions for peace and stability on the island of Ireland.”

The border situation between the U.K.’s Northern Ireland and the EU’s Ireland remains the main sticking point to have an orderly withdrawal of Britain from the bloc. There are fears it could endanger the peace process on the island.

Barnier said that making sure the island remains peaceful is “our duty & our responsibility.”


11:15 a.m.

Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson has announced her resignation, the day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suspended Parliament in a move widely criticized by political opponents.

Davidson cited family reasons, having recently started a family. But the timing of her decision, coming so soon after Johnson’s seismic decision raised questions.

In her resignation speech Thursday, Davidson said that with a Scottish election looming in 2021, she realized it would have been too difficult to be away from her family.

Davidson says she stands behind Johnson’s efforts to get a Brexit deal.


9:35 a.m.

Political opposition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament is crystalizing, with protests around Britain and a petition to block the move gaining more than 1 million signatures.

Johnson’s maneuver gives his political opponents even less time to prevent a chaotic no-deal Brexit before the Oct. 31 withdrawal deadline. But the decision outraged critics and is serving as a unifying force for the disparate opposition.

House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg dismissed the outrage Thursday as “phony.” He insisted in an interview with the BBC that Johnson wants to outline his domestic agenda.

The move has prompted ruptures across the political spectrum, including among members of Johnson’s Conservative Party. Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson is expected to resign Thursday, in part due to opposition to Johnson’s Brexit strategy.

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