- Title: Britain is committed to leaving EU on Oct. 31 - UK's Brexit minister
- Date: 28th August 2019
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (AUGUST 28, 2019) (REUTERS) BRITISH BREXIT MINISTER, STEPHEN BARCLAY, ARRIVING FOR CONFERENCE HOSTED BY FRENCH BUSINESS ORGANISATION, MEDEF BARCLAY WALKING TO SEAT AND GREETING IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER, SIMON COVENEY CONFERENCE ONGOING BARCLAY AND COVENEY SPEAKING WITH MEDEF PRESIDENT, GEOFFROY ROUX DE BEZIEUX COVENEY ON STAGE AFTER ENDING SPEECH BARCLAY ARRIVING ON STAGE FOR SPEECH AUDIENCE MEMBERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH BREXIT MINISTER, STEPHEN BARCLAY, SAYING: "But if a compromise cannot be found, then we have been clear that we are leaving whatever the circumstances, on the 31st of October. People voted for the Brexit, and it is important to our democracy that we deliver it." PEOPLE IN AUDIENCE LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH BREXIT MINISTER, STEPHEN BARCLAY, SAYING: "It is not just because the backstop has been rejected three times by the UK Parliament that we seek its removal. As the prime minister made clear in his letter to Donald Tusk and in their subsequent meeting, Parliament will not allow the people of Northern Ireland to be subject to an indefinite period of continued alignment. It would mean Northern Irish voters, UK citizens, being governed by rules in which they have no say. And since we can only leave the backstop by the agreement of the European Union, once it is triggered we could be locked in it forever." PEOPLE IN AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH BREXIT MINISTER, STEPHEN BARCLAY, SAYING: "We understand the need to protect the integrity of the single market. But it is our firm view that the Irish border issue should be dealt with in the talks on the future agreement between the UK and the EU where they should always have been. And we're ready to negotiate in good faith on that basis. We will do so with a cast iron commitment to upholding the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland." PEOPLE IN AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH BREXIT MINISTER, STEPHEN BARCLAY, SAYING: "We recognise the concern about the risk of a backdoor to the single market but we need to deal with it in a different way, one which reflects the value of democracy that we share." CONFERENCE ONGOING (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH BREXIT MINISTER, STEPHEN BARCLAY, SAYING: "But I call on the French government and others in the European Union to match our offer and to provide certainty for UK nationals living here in France. EU leaders repeatedly tell me how important citizensâ€™ rights is to them but not only has the Commission refused to agree a specific deal on citizensâ€™ rights, as requested by all political parties in the United Kingdom, the offer here in France falls short of what we have set out in the UK in several respects." BARCLAY LEAVING STAGE AFTER SPEECH / BARCLAY SHAKING HANDS WITH COVENEY AND DE BEZIEUX / BARCLAY AND COVENEY LEAVING CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 11th September 2019 16:07
- Keywords: MEDEF Brexit France EU Northern Ireland Irish backstop European Union Stephen Barclay Brexit minister Boris Johnson UK citizens living in EU countries withdrawal deal
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AU4VSXZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The United Kingdom is committed to leaving the European Union on October 31, said British Brexit minister Stephen Barclay on Wednesday (August 28), speaking just hours after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to limit parliament's ability to derail Brexit.
Barclay also reiterated Britain's opposition to the Irish backstop, a protocol negotiated by Johnson's predecessor to prevent a hard border between Ireland and the province of Northern Ireland.
"But if a compromise cannot be found, then we have been clear that we are leaving whatever the circumstances, on the 31st of October," said Barclay, speaking in Paris at a conference hosted by the MEDEF French business organization.
Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Johnson moved to limit parliament's opportunity to derail Brexit by cutting the amount of time it sits between now and EU exit day on October 31, infuriating opponents who accused him of leading a "very British coup."
Barclay also said that Britain's offer to French nationals living in the United Kingdom was "much more generous" than the French one to UK nationals in France, and called on Paris to match London's plan.
(Production: Thierry Chiarello and Pascale Antonie)
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