Downing Street has accused Brussels of making it “impossible” for Britain to leave the European Union with a deal.
Following a call between Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel, a Number 10 source said the German Chancellor had made it clear that the EU had taken a “new position” following the tabling of the latest UK plan last week.
“She made clear a deal is overwhelmingly unlikely and she thinks the EU has a veto on us leaving the customs union,” the source, quoted by Sky News, said.
Mrs Merkel is said to have told the Prime Minister that Northern Ireland is the UK’s “special problem” and that the Irish Republic must at least have a veto on it leaving the customs union.
“It was a very useful clarifying moment in all sorts of ways,” the source said. “If this represents a new established position, then it means a deal is essentially impossible, not just now but ever.
“It also made clear that they are willing to torpedo the Good Friday Agreement.”
Meanwhile, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, has warned Boris Johnson that “what’s at stake” over Brexit “is not winning some stupid blame game. At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people”.
.@BorisJohnson, what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game. At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people. You don’t want a deal, you don’t want an extension, you don’t want to revoke, quo vadis?— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) October 8, 2019
For Labour, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the comments represented a “cynical attempt” by Number 10 to “sabotage” the negotiations.
“Boris Johnson will never take responsibility for his own failure to put forward a credible deal. His strategy from day one has been for a no-deal Brexit,” he said.
No British Government could ever accept Germany telling us that part of the UK has to stay in the EU.
The choice now is clear: A clean break Brexit, or stay in a new militarised empire.
Time to choose freedom.— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) October 8, 2019