Tue Oct 8th, 2019 at 01:42:37 PM EST
Merkel: EU agreement on Brexit deal 'overwhelmingly unlikely' | DW |
German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the likelihood of the European Union ratifying UK Prime Minister Johnson's Brexit deal as "overwhelmingly unlikely" in a call between the two leaders on Tuesday morning, according to a Downing Street source.
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Downing Street has neither confirmed nor denied the Johnson-Merkel call. The German chancellor's office admitted the call took place, however it did not provide details about it.
Merkel reportedly said for a deal to be agreed upon, Northern Ireland would have to stay in the EU customs union forever, which Johnson is not prepared to agree to.
The news comes following the publication of remarks from an anonymous government source which claim that Johnson will do "all sorts of things" to prevent a further delay to Brexit.
According to the source, quoted in the British Spectator magazine, Johnson does not want a no-deal Brexit but he believes that negotiations with the EU are failing, following frosty responses from Brussels on Monday to his proposed withdrawal deal.
"If this deal dies in the next few days, then it won't be revived," the source said.
Brexit: Deal essentially impossible, No 10 source says after PM-Merkel call | BBC News - Breaking |
The key focus of the new UK plans is to replace the so-called backstop - the policy negotiated by Theresa May and the EU to prevent a hard border returning to the island of Ireland - which has long been a sticking point.
After presenting them, government sources hoped the sides might be able to enter an intense 10-day period of talks almost immediately, but a number of senior EU figures, including Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, warned they did not form the basis for deeper negotiations - even if they believed a deal could still be done.
The No 10 source said Tuesday morning's phone call - which was not discussed at cabinet - had been a "clarifying moment", adding: "Talks in Brussels are close to breaking down, despite the fact that the UK has moved a long way."
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○ AG Cox: 'This Is a Dead Parliament'
PM Calls On EU to Engage In Talks
Revealed: the EU's point-by-point rejection of Johnson's Brexit plan | The Guardian |
The European Union's full devastating point-by-point rejection of Boris Johnson's Brexit proposals for the Irish border has been revealed in documents obtained by the Guardian.
Leaked documents lay bare the scale of the multiple faults highlighted to David Frost, the prime minister's chief negotiator, during the recent talks.
The disclosure follows the prime minister's claim on Monday that he had not yet heard the EU's thoughts on the legal text tabled by Downing Street, under which a customs border would be reimposed on the island of Ireland.
EU sources scoffed at claims coming out of Downing Street that a "counter-offer" could be expected from Brussels in the coming days. "It is the UK that wants to replace the backstop - and that is our solution," said one senior EU diplomat.
On Monday, the Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay, met with the Dutch foreign minister, Stef Blok, who tweeted: "Frank & honest discussion today with Steve Barclay. As good neighbours do.
"Important questions still remain on UK Brexit proposals and more realism and clarity necessary this week. Full support for Michel Barnier."
An EU commission spokeswoman said the EU27 remained of the opinion that the UK had failed to offer an alternative to the Irish backstop, which would avoid a hard border by keeping Northern Ireland in the single market and the EU's customs territory.
And, in an interview with Le Monde, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier warned that if London "does not come back with new proposals on the two serious problems we have indicated to them, I cannot see how we can move forward".
○ No 10 continues to deflect blame for Brexit impasse on to EU
○ PM calls on EU to 'thrash out' Brexit objections | BBC News - 3 hrs ago |