With just 23 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the bloc, the future of Brexit remains deeply uncertain and both London and Brussels are positioning themselves to avoid blame for a delay or a disorderly no-deal Brexit.
In a sign that Johnson’s last-ditch proposals to bridge the impasse have failed, a Downing Street source said Merkel and Johnson spoke on Tuesday morning and she made clear that a deal was “overwhelmingly unlikely”.
The Downing Street source said that if Merkel’s position on Northern Ireland remaining in the EU’s customs union was the bloc’s position, then a deal was impossible.
“If this represents a new established position then it means a deal is essentially impossible not just now but ever,” the Downing Street source said. A spokesman for the German chancellor confirmed the call had taken place but declined to comment further.
The EU was scathing.
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