Portugal asks UK to define position with EU "once and for all"
LISBON, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese Prime Minister-designate Antonio Costa on Monday expressed "concern" about the political stalemate in the British parliament for the approval of new Brexit deal and asked the UK to define its relations with the European Union (EU) "once and for all".
"What we ask the United Kingdom is to define once and for all its position. We cannot systematically reopen negotiations, make agreements and then, once agreed, do not pass the UK parliament. It is impossible," Costa told reporters at the Belem Palace after meeting with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly sent an unsigned letter to the EU on Saturday night requesting a postponement of the British departure until the end of January next year. However, the conservative leader sent a second signed letter, in which he said he did not find it beneficial to postpone the British "divorce" beyond Oct. 31.
"I am delighted to see Boris Johnson writing to the European Council reaffirming that he continues to defend the agreement reached" at the last summit of EU heads of state and government, Costa said.
He said he hoped that this new attempt at compromise "would be for good, because this is the fourth agreement that the European Union concludes with the British government."
"One thing the European Union understands is that if there is Brexit, then it should be done in an orderly manner," Costa added.
"If you want this agreement, then approve it. If you don't want this agreement, then tell us which agreement you want," he stressed.
The British government was forced to send a letter requesting an extension after its parliament approved on Saturday an amendment calling for a postponement of Brexit, prompting Johnson to withdraw the planned vote on the agreement.
The amendment adopted on Saturday aims to act as a security safeguard if the parliamentary procedure of the Brexit law is not completed by Oct. 31 and prevents the UK from leaving the EU without agreement.