Tusk thanks Finland, France for adding urgency to Brexit talks: media

Saturday, 2019-09-21 12:05:11
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Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne and Chairman of the European Council Donald Tusk conferred on September 20 over the phone, Finnish media reported.

They agreed on the view that the UK must be fast in submitting alternatives to the the existing Brexit agreement, newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported quoting unnamed Finnish government officials.

It is considered by many EU officials as necessary for the current British government led by Boris Johnson to submit written proposals since it does not accept an earlier agreement with the EU.

Tusk thanked Rinne and French President Emmanuel Macron for their action on September 18. While Rinne was visiting Paris, the Finnish and French leaders agreed that London should be pressured to give a written proposal no later than September 30.

The idea of a deadline was not a joint EU initiative, but something Rinne and Macron had decided upon. "We have to know what the UK is suggesting..." Rinne said to journalists in Paris on September 18.

Britain sent on September 19 "unofficial documents" that, according to media reports, included options for the formalities on the future UK-Ireland border. On September 20, Stephen Barclay, the UK minister handling the exit talks, and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier met in Brussels.