Published: Fri, September 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Sterling buoyed by Juncker's comments on Brexit

Sterling buoyed by Juncker's comments on Brexit

The EU has demanded that Britain put forward written proposals on how to keep goods flowing smoothly across the Irish border without costly and time consuming checks once Northern Ireland leaves the bloc along with the rest of the United Kingdom.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, has told Sky News he believes "we can have a deal", prompting the pound to notch further tentative gains against the dollar and reach its highest value since July.

Arlene Foster, who made the call in a speech in Dublin, did not specify what changes would need to be made, but said they would allow a post-Brexit environment to be managed in a more "pro-active and democratic manner".

Boris Johnson's government has since stepped up efforts to try and renegotiate the deal agreed by previous Prime Minister Theresa May but repeatedly rejected by Britain's parliament.

U.K. Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng disputed Simon Coveney's assertion (see 8:25 a.m.) that the European Union has yet to hear concrete proposals from the U.K. and that a significant gap remains between the two sides on Brexit.

Irish deputy PM Simon Coveney today warned that No Deal would mean "civil unrest" as he poured cold water on "spin" about progress in talks.

He said on Friday that Ireland would not be "collateral damage" for Britain's Brexit plans, as he poured cold water on reports that a new deal was close to being negotiated.

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The UK Government spokesman said there had been "detailed discussions" in recent weeks with the European Commission's Taskforce 50 - the unit dealing with Brexit.

"We will table formal written solutions when we are ready, not according to an artificial deadline, and when the European Union is clear that it will engage constructively on them as a replacement for the backstop".

Downing Street referred to these documents as "confidential" and "technical", while they are treated by Brussels as essentially a non-binding "non-paper".

"Johnson would be wary of showing his hand at such a sensitive point given the potentially negative reaction by his party to any movement towards the EU's demands on the backstop", it wrote.

A Number 10 spokesperson responded by saying the PM will not be bound by an "artificial deadline".

Britain must deliver a written proposal for a solution to the Brexit impasse this month to avoid a no-deal Brexit, the Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne's office told AFP on Thursday.

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