Merkel Johnson: a new agreement of Brexit is “extremely unlikely”


by Guy Faulconbridge, Elizabeth Piper and William James

LONDON (Reuters) – Angela Merkel said on Tuesday the british Prime minister, Boris Johnson as to reach a new agreement of Brexit between London and Brussels was “extremely unlikely”, a-t-on learned from a government source british.

The German chancellor, says the same source, told the conservative leader that the Uk could leave the Eu without leaving the british province of Northern Ireland in a customs union with the European.

“Merkel said that if Germany wanted to get out of the EU, it could do so without a problem, but the United Kingdom can not get away without leaving Northern Ireland behind in a customs union, and in alignment without limit of time”, said this source.

This telephone conversation, they say, was a “moment of clarification” and if the words of Merkel are the new established position of the Europeans, then the whole agreement is “virtually impossible”.

In Berlin, the spokesperson for Merkel confirmed this telephone conversation but declined to comment on its content.

A few hours earlier, a source at 10 Downing Street had indicated to a reporter from the Spectator magazine that the british government would adopt an aggressive attitude towards the european Union if negotiations around the Brexit does not arrive.

This source includes a suspension of the cooperation in the field of security and defence if the Europeans are trying to prevent the divorce. Any member State which, conversely, would oppose a new postponement of the date of the Brexit would be to provide “good cooperation”.

To try to get a new agreement of Brexit before the european summit on 17-18 October, Boris Johnson has presented last week in Brussels a “compromise” designed to resolve the major sticking point, the safeguard clause to the border of ireland (“backstop”) supposed to prevent the restoration of a border lasts throughout the island of Ireland and thereby to preserve the peace agreement of 1998 which brought an end to thirty years of turmoil for faith communities in Northern Ireland.

But the plan Johnson has been freshly welcomed by its partners and, according to the BBC, the negotiations in Brussels were the same at the edge of the break Tuesday in the late morning.


A government source british interviewed by Reuters confirmed that the Europeans were negotiating not with “serious”.

The european Commission has affirmed for his part that the discussions scheduled with David Frost, the chief negotiator of London for the Brexit, were always scheduled in the early afternoon.

“I do not think that our plans change because of briefings anonymous,” said a spokesperson of the european executive.

Asked earlier by a journalist from the Spectator on the progress of the discussions, a member of the services of the british Prime minister replied that “the negotiations will probably take the end of this week”.

The First irish minister Leo Varadkar does not want to negotiate, and shows a “cold” since the british Parliament passed the “Benn Act”, indicates this contact at 10 Downing Street.

“Many are those in Paris and Berlin who would like to discuss our offer”, he added, but Angela Merkel and the French president Emmanuel Macron “will not grow (Michel) Barnier to do so unless Ireland has announced that it wants to negotiate”.

This source, according to Amber Rudd, the former minister of Pensions, who resigned from the conservative Party, it would be Dominic Cummings, the special adviser to Johnson – and adds that those who hoped that Angela Merkel would London have been “fooled”.

Has 23 days of the new theoretical date of the Brexit, Boris Johnson maintains that he will not be asked to report, despite the adoption by Parliament of the “Benn”Act.

This law voted by the opposition, anti-No Deal last month requires the government to request a new extension of three months if no agreement has been approved at Westminster, or if it has not been validated for an exit from the european Union, without agreement by this date of 19 October.

The Prime minister, who repeated that the Uk will leave the EU “at all costs” October 31, ensures however that it will comply with the law, without explaining how to get out of the contradiction.

The source of the Spectator in advance of two tracks: in the first, the government can put in failure, the report called for by the law Benn; in the second, London is forced to ask for a deferral but organizes elections, by imputing liability to the Europeans and the anti-No Deal, and leading a campaign on one output immediately and without the agreement of the EU.

(with Kanishka Singh in Bangalore; John Terzian and Henri-Pierre André for French service)

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