He said there are “detailed discussions” underway in the hope of convincing Ireland and the European Union to drop their support for the Northern Ireland backstop. Having met in Brussels this afternoon, the Brexit Secretary and Brussels negotiator admitted that further work still needs to be done in the next few weeks. Speaking after the meeting, Mr Barclay said: “We had serious detailed discussions today with Michel Barnier and his team, there is a common purpose, we both want to see a deal.
“A very clear message has been given both by President Juncker and the Prime Minister who want to see the teams reach a deal.”
On the proposals put forward by Boris Johnson’s negotiating team, Mr Barclay added: “There has always been a recognition that alternative arrangements have an important party to play, the Commission themselves has recognised that.
“What is very clear from the statements from the Irish government is that, like the UK Government, they want to see a deal done, they recognise that no deal is not in the interest of the Irish government.
“There is a common purpose both in Dublin, in London and here in Brussels to see a deal over the line. I think the fact that the meeting overran today, we were getting into the detail, the technical teams will meet again next week, the prime minister and President Tusk are expected to meet in the U.N. as well, that underscores the purpose there is on both sides to get a deal and what is what we are working very hard to secure.”
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