Statement by the European Commission following President Jean-Claude Juncker's phone call with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
President Juncker confirmed that while the UK has made some progress, a number of problematic points remain in the proposal, on which further work is needed by the UK.
President Juncker emphasised that the governance of the backstop should be stable and predictable. He reiterated that the Withdrawal Agreement must have a legally operational solution now, and cannot be based on untried arrangements that would be left to negotiation during the transition period. Accepting such a proposal would not meet all the objectives of the backstop: preventing a hard border, preserving North-South cooperation and the all-island economy, and protecting the EU's Single Market and Ireland's place in it. For this reason, further discussions with the United Kingdom's negotiators are needed.
President Juncker reaffirmed his unwavering support for Ireland.
Both the President and the Taoiseach agreed that they would be in favour of the UK publishing the legal text of their proposal.