The Latest: EU: hard to see Irish border solution with UK


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, right, and EU brexit Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, left, shake hands after a joint press conference as part of a meeting at the foreign ministry in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

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LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s departure from the European Union (all times local):

3:00 p.m.

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator says it is “difficult to see” at present how an agreement can be reached to overcome an impasse over an Irish border arrangement that the new British government wants scrapped.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is insisting that the so-called Irish backstop be dropped from the withdrawal agreement negotiated by his predecessor, which Brexit advocates worry would leave Britain too closely linked for too long to the EU.

EU negotiator Michel Barnier said after meeting Germany’s foreign minister in Berlin Monday that “based on current U.K. thinking, it is difficult to see how we can arrive at a legally operative solution which fulfills all the objectives of the backstop.”

He added that “we remain open to talks and to progress” and will be “open and respectful.”


1:50 p.m.

Britain’s Supreme Court is to give its verdict Tuesday on the legality of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s five-week suspension of Parliament.

Britain’s highest court plans to announce the decision Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

It is deciding whether Johnson acted improperly by shutting down Parliament for five weeks during the period before Britain’s Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, when the country is scheduled to leave the European Union. The topic has deeply divided British politicians as well as the public.

The government says the decision to suspend Parliament was routine but activists, including many legislators, say Johnson overstepped his authority in an attempt to avoid scrutiny by Parliament.

Lower courts in the U.K. were divided on the issue.

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