UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) — Negotiations on Brexit appear to be nearing a break on Tuesday, nearly three weeks before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, and Brussels accused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of playing “the future of Europe.”
Europeans have given the British government until the end of the week to offer an acceptable compromise to reach a consensual divorce after 46 years of coexistence.
Without waiting for the weekend, both sides did not hide their pessimism. After a telephone conversation Tuesday between Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a source in the British prime minister said a deal had become “virtually impossible.”
Merkel warned Johnson that a deal would be “very unlikely” if London did not make new proposals for the Northern Ireland boycott to remain in the European Customs Union. Johnson, whose plan calls for a regulatory, but not customs, agreement between the province and neighboring EU member Ireland, rejects.
The aim is to avoid a de facto border return within the Irish and to maintain peace on the island after decades of sectarian violence.
The German government declined to comment on the contents of the conversation.
– “Silly game to charge” –
European Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday accused Johnson of manipulating the “future of Europe and the United Kingdom” through a “silly game of mutual accusations” over the failure of the Brexit negotiations.
“The bet is not to win a ridiculous game of recrimination,” Tusk wrote in a tweet to Johnson.
“The future of Europe and the UK and the security and interests of our people are at stake. You don’t want an agreement, you don’t want a postponement, you don’t want to cancel (Brexit), where are you going?”
Merkel and Johnson were in contact as tough negotiations took place in Brussels to avoid Brexit “without agreement” on October 31, on the basis of a project presented by the British prime minister last Wednesday.
The situation affected the value of the British currency, and financial analyst Neil Wilson pointed to “the disappearance of another glimmer of hope.”
The Europeans rejected last week’s proposals by London to resolve the border dilemma on the island of Ireland. The EU refuses to grant the Northern Ireland government and parliament a veto, Johnson suggested.
Negotiations are due to resume Tuesday in Brussels after London on Monday tried to provide clarification.
But according to a European source, “nothing new” in those clarifications. Another source added that the Johnson project, as it is now, “is not enough to convince” Brussels and “if things continue in this format I do not see how we can be ready” for the European summit on October 17-18.
Johnson, who took office at the end of July 2019, has pledged to expel the UK from the European Union on October 31 at any cost after postponing the exit twice, although there is a law that forces him to request a postponement if there is no agreement by October 19 The day after the EU summit, which is described as the last chance.
According to a source in the British government, quoted by the conservative weekly “Spectator”, Johnson is betting on the failure of negotiations with the Union and will use “everything” to avoid reaching an agreement.
“We will say … clearly that the government will not continue to negotiate and that any delay will not be helpful,” the source said.
In a document reviewing the measures taken in the case of Brexit without agreement, Johnson said the kingdom was “ready” for this option.
But the Research Institute of Tax Studies painted a bleak picture of the situation in this case, with the collapse of economic activity and tax revenues, and thus a significant rise in the general deficit of the Kingdom.
In the event of a further delay, Johnson would lead a campaign for Brexit “without agreement” in the event of early legislative elections, in order to “marginalize” the anti-European Brexit party.
The former Labor minister, who resigned from the government in September, Amber Rad on Tuesday told the BBC she believed the source was Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s special adviser and maker of the Brexit supporters in the 2016 referendum.
Johnson’s government wants to suspend parliament’s work after negotiations end Tuesday night, as is customary, so that it can present its political program next year.
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