What Happened: British Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, have agreed to continue talks on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the bloc, according to a Sept. 20 press release from the European Commission.
Why It Matters: Although it remains unclear whether the United Kingdom and the European Union can reach a deal in time for the country's scheduled departure on Oct. 31, the British government is signaling some level of optimism on potentially finding an agreement to allow for an orderly Brexit. The British government has submitted its proposals in the form of "non-papers," highlighting the government's cautious willingness to pursue dialogue over the Irish backstop without committing itself to a potential solution.
Background: The European Union is currently considering the British government's non-official written proposal to replace the Irish backstop, a controversial mechanism to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
- Boris Johnson and the British Opposition Struggle for Brexit Traction as October Looms (Sept. 10, 2019)
- Visualizing Brexit: A Flowchart (Sept. 5, 2019)
- U.K.: Johnson Corners Brexit Foes and the EU Alike (Aug. 28, 2019)