Published: Wed, October 09, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Johnson accuses European Union of making it impossible to leave with a deal

Johnson accuses European Union of making it impossible to leave with a deal

Boris Johnson is trying to negotiate a new Brexit deal with just three weeks to go before Brexit, and has set out new proposals to avoid a hard border in Ireland - the main difference from Theresa May's plan is that according to Johnson, Northern Ireland would leave the EU's customs union along with the rest of the United Kingdom and stay in parts of its single market.

Britain is set to leave the European Union on October 31, although Parliament recently passed a law requiring Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek a three-month extension if he hasn't reached an agreement by October 19.

The German government confirmed that Merkel and Johnson had spoken by phone on Tuesday.

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

It envisages keeping Northern Ireland aligned with the EU's single market regulations, but part of a UK-wide customs territory.

Asked to confirm whether the Irish would accept customs checks if they were enforced by the European Union in the event of a no-deal Brexit, he replied: "Well, what we have indicated is that if we are in a no-deal setting, we'll have to put in place some kind of arrangements to ensure that we can give confidence to, for example, French shoppers that Irish lamb that is leaving Ireland is Irish lamb".

The UK government also released updated preparations for a "no deal" exit at the end of the month, indicating it was increasingly expecting the outcome.

Boris Johnson's government is highly unlikely to present new proposals and is understood to be preparing for the talks to collapse this week.

After presenting them, government sources hoped the sides might be able to enter an intense 10-day period of talks nearly immediately, but a number of senior European Union figures, including Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, warned they did not form the basis for deeper negotiations - even if they believed a deal could still be done.

But EU officials said Mr. Johnson's proposals failed to address some of the bloc's long-held concerns.

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Johnson's Brexit envoy, diplomat David Frost, is in Brussels for technical talks on a possible withdrawal agreement to put to EU leaders at next week's European summit. "His strategy from day one has been for a no-deal Brexit", said Keir Starmer, Brexit spokesman for the main opposition Labour Party.

A Downing Street source claimed Mrs Merkel insisted that Northern Ireland should remain part of the customs union after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

It's due to publish more details of planning for a no-deal Brexit on Tuesday. "Frankly a deal on the basis of Johnson's proposals by October 31 has been unrealistic from the beginning...", he said on Twitter.

"If it happens, it will be a decision made by the British Government", he said.

Johnson vowed to take his country out of the European Union on 31 October, with or without a deal.

We believe it is still too early to call the death of the current round of Brexit negotiations, and while we expect Sterling to remain volatile, the currency should ultimately remain contained until such a time as negotiations are either officially ended or succeed.

"They even finished off the statement saying "the call also made clear they are willing to torpedo the Good Friday Agreement".

Parliament is set to be suspended Tuesday evening so that a new session can begin next week with a major policy speech from Johnson's Conservative government.

Our view is that if the two sides are still engaged heading into the October 17 EU Council summit then a chance of a deal has risen considerably.

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