Finnish PM tries to help finding Brexit solutions

2019-08-20 01:56:24 GMT2019-08-20 09:56:24(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

HELSINKI, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne said on Monday he would meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on "ways to reach an agreement-based Brexit without opening the existing agreement" between the UK and the European Union.

Rinne said on Monday evening in Reykjavik that he had talked on the phone with Johnson. The five Nordic prime ministers and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in Reykjavik on Tuesday.

Johnson had contacted Rinne to find out what the Finnish views would be if the existing agreement is renegotiated. Rinne said he had told Johnson that the remaining 27 EU member countries are very unanimous on not re-opening and re-negotiating the Brexit agreement.

"The agreement will stand, it will not be opened," Rinne told Finnish reporters that accompany him on the trip.

Rinne had told Johnson that he is prepared as the prime minister of the EU Council presidency country "to seek a way out". Rinne had referred to his 20-year experience as a trade union negotiator and said he would be open to consider "other solutions than opening the Brexit agreement."

The date of the possible meeting between Johnson and Rinne has not been agreed. "It could be either in Helsinki or in London," Rinne told Finnish media.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Johnson on Wednesday in a pre-scheduled encounter.

Rinne told Finnish media from Reykjavik that "it is worth trying to find a way out from the present situation through discussions." He added though that there is "not much light at this time".