LONDON (AP) – The Latest on Brexit (all times local):
German Chancellor Angela Merkelâ€™s spokesman is welcoming the fact has Britain has made proposals to break the Brexit deadlock, but notes that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is describing them as â€œan opening offer.â€
Steffen Seibert said Friday that Merkel spoke with Johnson by phone on Wednesday, but Seibert stressed that negotiations are a matter for the European Unionâ€™s executive Commission.
Seibert says that Britain making proposals is â€œan important step,â€ though he added that Johnson â€œhas himself underlined the fact that this is an opening offer.â€
He says that an agreement â€œmust preserve the integrity of the single market, (it) must be operable and it must avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.â€
He didnâ€™t comment further on Johnsonâ€™s proposal, which several European officials have made clear falls short of requirements.
Seibert reiterated that a no-deal Brexit â€œis in no oneâ€™s interest,â€ but preparations are underway for that outcome.
Britainâ€™s minister for Europe says heâ€™s hoping European Union leaders enter talks on the U.K. governmentâ€™s latest Brexit deal in a â€œfair spirit,â€ otherwise the country will leave the bloc at the end of the month without an agreement.
Christopher Pincher called the British governmentâ€™s new Brexit proposal â€œa good, fair and reasonable compromiseâ€ that presents a â€œbroad landing zoneâ€ for talks that would enable the U.K. to leave the 28-member bloc in an â€œorderly and friendly wayâ€ on Oct. 31.
Pincher was speaking Friday after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.
Key European leaders have already said they consider that the measures British Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposed on Thursday fall far short of the concessions needed to forge a deal.