Brexit: EU slam Boris Johnson's 'blame game' as negotiations become 'very difficult'

Mirror Online Politics 2 months ago

European Union leaders have slammed Boris Johnson for attempting to play a " blame game" - but said that the door is still open to a Brexit deal, if Britain is willing to shift its position.

It came after Downing St sources stunned the EU and European Capitals by saying that they thought a deal was now impossible - after a phone call between Mr Johnson and German leader Angela Merkel.

Britain is due to leave the EU on October 31, MPs have passed a law demanding Mr Johnson request an extension if his government hasn't secured a deal.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker slammed Mr Johnson for his government's behaviour - and said the EU was working to avoid a no-deal.

Jean-Claude Juncker was speaking to MEPs at the European Parliament

Speaking to the European Parliament he said: "I don't accept this blame game that started in London.

"Personally, I don't exclude a deal.

"The risk of a no-deal remains real and basically is going to come down to a decision by the UK government, but will never be the choice of the European Union."

"That's why I think it is better now to focus on what we can do in terms of concluding that deal, something which is desirable and still, in my view, possible."

The Commission's lead negotiator Michael Barnier said that Britain's current offer, which Mr Johnson has described as his last, was currently unacceptable to the EU.

He added: "To put things frankly, we are not really in a position to be able to find agreement with the UK."

Irish PM Leo Varadkar also warned that negotiation a new Brexit agreement by the crucial EU summit will be "very difficult".

Mr Varadkar said that Boris Johnson chances of a breakthrough with Brussels were looking increasingly unlikely on Tuesday after accusations from Number 10 that the bloc was making it "essentially impossible" for Britain to leave with a deal.

Leo Varadkar warned that Britain had a long way to go if it wanted a deal
 

Mr Johnson will hope to gain concessions from his Irish counterpart Mr Varadkar during in-person talks anticipated later this week.

But with the October 31 deadline rapidly closing in, the Taoiseach warned of the challenges of securing a new deal by next week - a key period in the Brexit saga with the summit in Brussels.

Mr Varadkar said Ireland and the EU would not accept an agreement at "any cost".

"There are some fundamental objectives that haven't changed for the past three years and we need them guaranteed," he told RTE news.

"I think it is going to be very difficult to secure an agreement by next week, quite frankly.

It came as the European Union's two most powerful leaders, Ms Merkel and France's

Emmanuel Macron, confirmed they would meet just days before a crunch Brexit summit next week which is seen as the last chance to secure a deal.


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