British Foreign Secretary: ‘EU Would be Ready to Renegotiate the Terms of Brexit’

Ilona Schumicky
By Ilona Schumicky | June 17, 2019 | 12:37 PM EDT

British Foreign Secretary
Jeremy Hunt. (Getty Images)

According to British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jeremy Hunt, the European Union (EU) would be willing to renegotiate the terms of Brexit in order to find a solution to the Irish – North Irish border control problem.

Despite the fact that the EU already declared that there is no possibility to reopen the negotiation, Secretary Hunt said,  “When you talk to European leaders as I do, they want to solve this problem," reported the BBC.  "They say that if they were approached by a British prime minister, someone they were willing to deal with, who had ideas how to solve the Northern Irish border, they would be willing to re-negotiate the package.”

(Photo PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)

The “Irish backstop” has been a key part of Brexit and refers to a guarantee that a “hard” Irish border —actual physical checkpoints for goods and people trying to cross — will not be installed when the EU and UK break up.

The Irish border is the land boundary that separates Northern Ireland — which is part of the United Kingdom — from the Republic of Ireland, which is an independent country and also a member of the European Union. If a hard border is established, many fear it could inflame still-simmering tensions and reignite conflict in Northern Ireland, reported Vox

The UK European Union referendum took place on 23 June 2016. Since the referendum, British leaders have been negotiating with the EU.  Prime Minister Theresa May could not deliver a deal that the Parliament would accept, so she has announced her resignation on 7 June.

Mr. Hunt is one of the six candidates who are in the race for PM. The Tory Party will declare the new prime minister on 22 July.

The six candidates have different approaches on Brexit.  Mr. Hunt says he would not leave the EU while he sees a chance for a deal but when the deal is off the table he would leave immediately.

British Prime Minister Theresa May. (Photo by Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

On the other hand, Boris Johnson – currently the strongest candidate for PM – is determined to leave the EU on 31 October: “After 3 years and two missed deadlines we must leave the EU on October 31.” Johnson added that he is not aiming for a no deal Brexit, but is only responsible for preparing a no deal situation.

The UK was expected to leave the EU on 29 March, but the EU agreed on a delay after the MPs repeatedly rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal. The current date of Brexit is 31 October.

h/t BBC News


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