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David Sassoli, the new president of the European parliament, has been holding a press conference. He said that any Brexit agreement would have to have a backstop, that the UK had not yet proposed any credible alternative, and that the European parliament would be open to a Brexit delay if the UK was going to hold an election.

These are from my colleague Jennifer Rankin, the Sun’s Nick Gutteridge and ITV’s James Mates.

European parliament president David Sassoli: “Up to now – and I would like to stress this point – the United Kingdom hasn’t proposed any alternatives [to backstop] and anything that has been legally credible.”

He has just met Michel Barnier.

EU Parliament President David Sassoli, after meeting with Michel Barnier this morning: ‘You can’t have an agreement without the backstop. It couldn’t really be any clearer. That’s the position of the EU Commission, the position of the EU institutions including the EU Parliament.’

Sassoli says: ‘We’re not ruling anything out. If solutions are proposed they will be debated, all of them, provided they respect the guiding principles of the EU. But up to now I can say the UK hasn’t proposed any alternatives, anything that’s been legally credible and workable.’

Sassoli says possible options include returning to the EU’s original proposal for a Northern Ireland only backstop and revisiting the Political Declaration ‘and making it into a legally binding document’. These points are included in an EP resolution to be voted on next week.

EP President Sassoli, asked about Michel Barnier’s assessment of the Brexit talks in their meeting this morning, says: ‘Unfortunately the signals that we’re getting aren’t indicating that there’s any initiative that could reopen the negotiations, and we’re unhappy about that.’

President of European Parliament David Sassoli:
1) No new proposals have been received from the UK.
2) There will be no agreement without a backstop.
3) We will be open to an extension to Article 50 if there’s going to be an election in UK.


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It is 2-1 to the government in the courts now on the legality of proroguing parliament. As my colleague Owen Bowcott reports, judges in Belfast have said the prorogation was lawful, backing up the view of the high court in London, but contradicting the judgment of the court of session in Edinburgh.

The supreme court will come to a final, binding ruling after a hearing starting on Tuesday next week.

Related: Northern Irish judges rule Boris Johnson prorogation is lawful

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Read More Brexit: Boris Johnson denies lying to Queen about reasons for prorogation – live news

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