BoJo's Brexit showdown: British PM to summon lawmakers for special Saturday sitting

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 9, 2019

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

But a row broke out on Tuesday after a No 10 source said a call between Mr Johnson and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, had made a deal "essentially impossible", claiming she made clear a deal based on his proposals was "overwhelmingly unlikely".

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

Tusk gave an insight into the frustration at the anonymous briefings over the Merkel call, the alleged content of which described by senior politicians in Berlin as "improbable". Keir Starmer, Brexit spokesman for the main opposition Labour Party, said the Downing Street statement was "yet another cynical attempt by No. 10 to sabotage the negotiations", using the shorthand for the prime minister's office.

Varadkar said Ireland can't accept a deal at any cost as Britain seeks to renegotiate plans meant to ensure there is no hard border between the Republic of Ireland and the U.K.'s Northern Ireland.

Mr Johnson says he will obey the law but will not ask for a delay.

Brussels responded by accusing Johnson of trying to play a "stupid blame game".

BREXIT BLAME GAME An array of remarks by unidentified British sources laid bare just how far apart the two sides are after three years of tortuous haggling over the first departure of a sovereign state from the EU.

A frustrated Mr Tusk accused Britain of playing with "the future of Europe and the UK" with no clear plan of what the country wanted.

This, the source said, marked a shift in Germany's approach and made a negotiated deal "essentially impossible".

After the call, Arlene Foster, leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which supports Johnson's Brexit stance, said accepting the EU's position would amount to "surrender".

The Financial Times turns the spotlight on the relationship between UK PM Boris Johnson and Irish leader Leo Varadkar.

A story emanating from the UK Times newspaper saying that the European Union is willing to offer the UK a time limited Northern Ireland Backstop to break the current Brexit stalemate.

"We went too far on this one and apologise unreservedly", Leave.EU spokesman Andy Wigmore said by telephone.

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said he found it "hard to disagree" with Mr Tusk, stressing that Dublin would "not strike a deal at any cost".

The prime minister has said he is determined the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on 31 October, despite legislation passed by MPs last month, known as the Benn Act, which requires Mr Johnson to write to the European Union requesting a further delay if a deal is not signed off by Parliament by 19 October - or unless MPs agree to a no-deal Brexit.

Campaigners argue that leaving a court ruling until after October 19 would cause "massive" legal uncertainty; to wait until the deadline had passed would spark serious administrative and practical obstacles to enacting a legal remedy ahead of Britain crashing out of the European Union by automatic operation of law on October 31.

An unnamed cabinet minister cited by the newspaper said that a "very large number" of Conservative members of parliament will quit if it comes to a no-deal Brexit. "We'll either leave with no deal on 31 October or there will be an election and then we will leave with no deal".

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