UK urges EU to reflect 'political reality' on Brexit

A mural by Banksy of a worker removing a star from the EU flag, which appeared after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
A mural by Banksy of a worker removing a star from the EU flag, which appeared after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government has urged EU leaders again to drop their opposition to renegotiating the terms of Brexit, claiming recent European elections required a change of approach.

Johnson, who took office late last month, says he wants to leave the European Union with a deal but insists the current terms are unacceptable and if necessary Britain will exit on October 31 with no agreement at all.

In an article in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson's Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said European Parliament elections in May had changed the political dynamic and urged EU leaders to amend the mandate of their chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.

"The political realities have changed since Mr Barnier's instructions were set," Barclay wrote.

"Since the last mandate was agreed, 61% of all the EU states' MEPs have changed. Such a fundamental shift illustrates the need for a change of approach.

"Mr Barnier needs to urge EU leaders to consider this if they too want an agreement, to enable him to negotiate in a way that finds common ground with the UK.

"Otherwise, no deal is coming down the tracks."

Former prime minister Theresa May quit after delaying Brexit twice while she tried unsuccessfully to get the divorce terms she struck with Brussels through the British parliament.

But the EU has refused to reopen the deal, the result of 17 months of tough negotiations.

Johnson has ramped up preparations for leaving without any agreement.

However, some British lawmakers have vowed to stop him, fearing the economic consequences of severing ties with Britain's closest trading partner overnight.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 5401 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
45% - 4974 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 571 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.00
+0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.83
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.03
+0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.97
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.0%
Gold
1,834.70
-0.1%
Silver
27.52
+0.8%
Palladium
2,928.00
-1.2%
Platinum
1,236.50
-1.1%
Brent Crude
68.32
+0.1%
Top 40
61,320
-1.7%
All Share
67,241
-1.7%
Resource 10
70,627
-2.1%
Industrial 25
84,184
-1.7%
Financial 15
12,659
-0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo