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London assumes that the Brexit agreement is “basically impossible” after a call between Johnson and Merkel

October 8, 2019

Downing Street warns that “the talks with Brussels are about to break”

LONDON, Oct. 8 (EUROPE PRESS) –

The British Government has taken for granted that the agreement with the European Union for the United Kingdom to leave the block in an orderly manner on October 31 is “basically impossible,” as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday in a conversation Telephone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Johnson and Merkel have spoken early in the morning and, according to Downing Street sources, the head of the German Government has warned that the possibility of the EU accepting the proposals presented last week by London is “overwhelmingly unlikely”, reports the BBC public television.

The chancellor reminded the British 'premier' that one of the conditions for agreement is that precisely Northern Ireland remains in the customs union in case the parties fail to seal a specific pact to avoid the 'hard border' with Ireland.

The exit of the customs union, as well as the four-year limit to allow unhindered trade in goods, is part of the plan that Johnson moved to Brussels last week to eliminate the current safeguard, known by the term 'backstop' in the community jargon. The prime minister now awaits the formal response from Brussels, which has already expressed suspicion.

Downing Street considers that the contact between Johnson and Merkel has been “enlightening”, insofar as it shows what the position of each of the parties is. “The talks with Brussels are about to break, even though the United Kingdom has made a breakthrough,” insisted the prime minister's office.

FOLLOW THE TECHNICAL CONTACTS IN BRUSSELS

Asked if Brussels shares the idea that the negotiations are about to fail, a community spokeswoman has simply pointed out that “the technical negotiations continue today” and will continue in the next few days, with the aim of “giving the United Kingdom the opportunity to present your proposals in more detail “.

The European Union “has not changed” its position that its priority is to reach an agreement in time that allows for an orderly divorce, and that is why European negotiators “work hard”.

In any case, the spokeswoman warned, the Twenty-seven would not accept “under any circumstances” changes in the agreement that could jeopardize the Good Friday peace agreements or the Single Market.

The European negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, will report on the latest developments to the College of Commissioners on Wednesday, the spokeswoman added.

LONDON DEFENDS HIS POSTURE

During these last days, both Johnson and other members of his Government have argued that the plan with which London wants to reach a new agreement and leave with guarantees from the block on October 31 represents a “big transfer” by London.

The opposition, meanwhile, has thrown in the face of Johnson who has submitted a proposal for failure. Labor spokesman for Brexit, Keir Starmer, has denounced “a cynical attempt to sabotage the negotiations” and has accused the head of the government of trying to avoid his responsibility for “not presenting a credible agreement.”

The opposition parties and a group of dissident 'tories' of the official line managed to pass a law in September to force Johnson to request a new extension if there is no agreement before October 31, but the Prime Minister has repeatedly defended that does not contemplate this possibility.

The 'number two' of the Executive, Michael Gove, has reiterated on Tuesday that “London's main priority” remains “to prepare the country for Brexit on October 31, with or without agreement,” according to Reuters.