Irish PM: No-Deal Brexit Seems More Likely

Jeannie Matthews
August 9, 2019

It follows reports from Brussels that European Union officials had concluded Boris Johnson's new Government had no intention of negotiating and that its "central scenario" was a no-deal break on October 31.

British foreign secretary Dominic Raab said the United Kingdom is prepared to leave the European Union by October, even if they are unable to reach a final deal with their neighboring countries. "No intention to negotiate, which would require a plan".

Boris Johnson's government has insisted there can be no deal unless the backstop to avoid a hard border in Ireland can be removed.

While the bloc is still hopeful of securing a deal, their reaction to Downing Street suggests that they now seriously acknowledge the very real possibility that Johnson will indeed dig his heels in and stick to his guns regarding a no-deal Brexit, whatever the economic cost.

European officials briefed on the meeting with Johnson's envoy, David Frost, were told he had explained that there would be no discussions involving a backstop in Ireland and that a technological solution was the UK's preferred option.

The Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that a no-deal Brexit seems "more likely".

The taoiseach reiterated the EU's position that the Withdrawal Agreement was not open for renegotiation but said there was scope to offer clarifications and make changes to the political declaration on the future relationship.

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However, US politicians have warned that Congress is unlikely to sign off on any deal if Brexit has put the peace process in Ireland at risk. Either by the ratification of the withdrawal agreement, a further extension or revocation of Article 50.

"My view is they want to find ways to avoid a no-deal Brexit taking place but it is something they are willing to contemplate if they believe agreement (with the EU) can not be reached", he told journalists, according to a recording provided by his ministry.

The government has said it is significantly ramping up no-deal preparations, with senior Johnson advisor Dominic Cummings claiming planning was going "great" despite scepticism about United Kingdom preparedness with just three months to go.

"So, there are a number of ways that a no-deal can be avoided on October 31".

Stressing his desire for a trade deal, he said: 'We're going to get it done'.

"What I am saying is it doesn't end on October 31".

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