Polish Foreign Minister says that Ireland is responsible for Brexit stalemate
We can think of a few people a bit more responsible.
Jacek Czaputowicz, Poland's Minister for Foreign Affairs, has broken ranks with the European Union party line and suggested that Ireland has "treated the UK harshly" in its demands for a backstop.
Speaking on Monday about the Brexit chaos that has engulfed European politics, Czaputowicz made the unusual decision for an EU member state to lay responsibility at the feet of the Irish government.
"We need bold action," he said. "If Ireland was to ask the EU to change the deal with the British, the backstop provisions, so that they would only apply for, say, five years, the issue would be resolved."
According to Polish journalist Oskar Górzyński, Czaputowicz had some tough words for Ireland, saying: "In consequence, Ireland will end up the biggest loser and it will be charged with maintaining the external EU border."
Czaputowicz has argued that the stalemate would come to an end if Ireland were to agree to a five year time-limit backstop.
"Of course, this would be less beneficial for Ireland than an indefinite backstop," he conceded. "But much more favourable than the non-contractual Brexit, which inevitably approaches.
"In consequence, Ireland will end up the biggest loser and it will be charged with maintaining the external UE border" he says.
— Oskar Górzyński (@OskarGie) January 21, 2019
As things stand, a backstop is required to maintain frictionless trade and movement of people between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Meanwhile, chief Brexit negotiator for the EU Michel Barnier has once again restated the EU's official position that the current withdrawal agreement is not up for renegotiation, including the provisions therein for a backstop.