EU still awaits 'legal and operational' Brexit ideas from UK - Barnier

Brexit deal
Brexit deal

The European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday that Britain had yet to provide "legal and operational" proposals that could break the Brexit impasse.

"We are still ready to work on any new legal and operational proposal from the EU," Barnier told reporters on arriving for talks with European lawmakers on the latest developments on Brexit. "We are still waiting for this."

Barnier declined to comment on spiralling political crisis in Britain, where parliament resumed on Wednesday after the Supreme Court ruled Prime Minister Boris Johnson unlawfully suspended it.

Johnson vows to take his country out of the EU on Oct.31 - with, or without a deal to manage the fallout.

Britain submitted its fourth technical paper to the EU this week to detail its proposals on customs arrangements after Brexit, diplomatic sources told Reuters, as London seeks to replace the contentious Irish border backstop in the stalled divorce treaty.

But the EU says London's ideas so far - on food and animal checks, customs and regulatory controls, checks on manufactured goods and market surveillance, among others - fall short and are not acceptable as alternatives.

The backstop is anathema for many in Britain as it could tie the country to the EU's trading rules for years to maintain an open Irish border and at the same time ensure the necessary controls between the bloc and Britain after they split.

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