No progress on Brexit, says European Union parliament president after meeting PM

Darnell Taylor
October 9, 2019

Merkel says 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 only explanation I can see for these reports is that Johnson is trying to build a story where he blames Germany for a no-deal Brexit".

"If this represents a new established position, then it means a deal is essentially impossible, not just now but ever", the source said. The EU is willing to negotiate a Brexit but only if the United Kingdom can solve the problem it has created with Brexit.

The German government confirmed that Ms Merkel and Mr Johnson had spoken but declined to comment on the substance of "confidential conversations".

Speaking in the House of Commons later that day, Labour MP Chris Leslie claimed that the statement about the phone call with Merkel had sparked "racist attacks" against Germans on social media from Brexit campaigners, including Leave.EU.

The Pound-to-Euro exchange rate is today quoted at 1.11138, but had been as low as 1.1109 during the course of the past 24 hours.

The EU was scathing about Johnson's stance.

But he rejected an accusation from EU Council president Donald Tusk' that Johnson was playing "some stupid blame game". 'You don't want a deal, you don't want an extension, you don't want to revoke, where are you going?'

Such abrupt remarks indicate the Brexit blame game has begun in earnest, and now both London and European capitals are preparing for an acrimonious and potentially chaotic Brexit for which neither side wants to be held responsible.

Last night the European Parliament's president said "no progress" was made during Brexit talks with Boris Johnson in Downing Street.

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"We will get a decision tomorrow", Jolyon Maugham, one of the senior lawyers bringing the case, told reporters outside the court.

"Downing Street say Merkel said to Boris Johnson: "Your plan is never gonna work", said Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee, reporting from London.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office blamed European Union intransigence for a breakdown in negotiations, sparking a warning from a top European Union leader against playing a "stupid blame game". The EU and the United Kingdom have agreed there must be no checks or infrastructure along that border, yet Britain wants to leave the EU's customs union so it can strike new trade deals around the world, making some sort of checks on goods crossing that border all but inevitable.

Johnson took over the top government office after predecessor Theresa May was forced out by the Conservative Party in July.

Ireland braced for the worst with a no-deal Brexit budget while Britain announced its no-deal tariff plan and updated its preparations for a no-deal exit - a nightmare scenario for many big businesses.

"For the United Kingdom to be asked to leave a part of its sovereign territory in a foreign organisation of which the UK would no longer be a part and over which we would have no say whatsoever is beyond insane", she said. French President Emmanuel Macron has said the European Union will decide by the end of this week whether a deal is possible, or whether the two sides should buckle up for a rocky no-deal departure.

The next general election isn't due until 2022, and Johnson has tried to trigger one twice in September, but the opposition refused to support the motions, fearing that his victory would enable him to take Britain of the European Union without a deal.

And the messages all came from the same place - Downing Street.

"Supporting delay will be seen by this Government as hostile interference in domestic politics, and over half of the public will agree with us".

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