Finnish PM says no change in EU Brexit policy
Rinne met with French President Emmanuel Macron days ago in Paris. At the meeting, the two leaders agreed to ask Britain to submit written proposals on an alternative Brexit deal by the end of September.
Finland currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU.
At an interview with the Finnish News Agency STT, Rinne noted that it is not a legally binding deadline, and the intention is to impose pressure on the British government.
Britain is due to exit from the EU at the end of October, unless otherwise agreed. The Finnish prime minister pointed out that the legal evaluation of the British proposals will take time.
This is why "the Finnish Prime Minister and the French President have expressed the wish, the condition and the demand that Britain submit its proposals in writing form as soon as possible," Rinne was quoted as saying.
According to Rinne, Finland and the EU will continue to implement Brexit based on the agreement negotiated with the former British government.
The Finnish prime minister noted that setting the deadline is the viewpoint of the French president and him, not a joint position of the EU, so the end of September is only a suggestive deadline. "Even if Britain delivers its proposals at the last minute, they will be evaluated," he added.
Rinne emphasized that the EU has a strong stand on the Brexit process, as the policy has remained fairly coherent.