, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Earlier today, I asked the European Commission why it was refusing to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement, given there is a new government and the alternative seems to be a no deal Brexit.
Spokeswoman said:
"President Juncker told Prime Minister Johnson on the 25 July that we are available should the United Kingdom wish to hold talks and clarify its position in more detail...
"We are ready to analyse any concrete proposals that are compatible with the Withdrawal Agreement, we are also ready to re-work the future relationship as outlined in the political declaration"
This chimes with the Phil Hogan readout given yesterday after the agriculture commissioner spoke to Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay.

Some very nerdy Brussels-watchers were wondering if this new-ish line represented a shift in EU thinking because the line repeated endlessly for weeks has been -

Withdrawal Agreement is not up for renegotiation and will not be reopened. It is "best" agreement possible

[Even though the Withdrawal Agreement has been rejected three times by House of Commons, cost a PM her job etc.. do they really want another vote on it... but I digress. ]

I understand that this new line, a challenge of UK to bring forward proposals, is simply a tweak in messaging designed to push back at UK accusations that the EU was refusing to negotiate...

It is NOT an invitation to come up with concrete proposals that would change the withdrawal agreement.
The EU is happy to negotiate. Just not on the contents of the Withdrawal Agreement . It is v happy to talk about any assurances that could be given on the backstop or on redrafting the political declaration.
Quick recap. The Telegraph understands that the commission has not relaxed its red lines over the Withdrawal Agreement and simply wants Britain to come forward with proposals for what assurances over the backstop could be given and how the political declaration could be reworked.
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