Brussels accused Britain of playing a ‘stupid blame game’ yesterday after Number 10 said a Brexit deal was ‘overwhelmingly unlikely’ following a stormy phone call between Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel.
European Council chief Donald Tusk raged at Mr Johnson and claimed ‘you don’t want a deal’ after the PM’s hopes of a Brexit agreement were left hanging by a thread yesterday.
Meanwhile Jean-Claude Juncker said Britain would be to blame for a No Deal Brexit and claimed it would lead to ‘a collapse of the United Kingdom’.
Downing Street sources accused Mrs Merkel of torpedoing a Brexit deal by insisting that Northern Ireland remained in the customs union indefinitely.
European Council chief Donald Tusk (pictured) raged at Boris Johnson and accused him of playing a ‘stupid blame game’ over Brexit yesterday
Donald Tusk took aim at Mr Johnson directly in an angry tweet (above) on Tuesday
Mr Tusk, who has previously spoken of a ‘special place in hell’ for those who promoted Brexit without a plan, took aim at Mr Johnson in an angry tweet yesterday.
‘What’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game,’ he said.
‘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 [where are you going]?’.
Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said it was ‘hard to disagree’ with Mr Tusk’s explosive statement.
Mr Tusk’s intervention ‘reflects the frustration across EU and the enormity of what’s at stake for us all,’ he said.
‘We remain open to finalise a fair Brexit deal but need a UK Government willing to work with EU to get it done.’
German lawmaker Sandra Weeser also backed Mr Tusk, saying his comments were ‘absolutely appropriate’.
‘We’re not in the playground, we’re dealing with the future of the world economy and every individual in Europe and the UK,’ she said.
‘We can’t allow this destructive and egocentric style of politics to become established,’ she added.
Boris Johnson (pictured) is facing a diminishing chance of securing a Brexit deal before the October 31 deadline
Downing Street accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured) of torpedoing a deal
Another German MP, Franziska Brantner, simply said: ‘Take that!’.
Jean-Claude Juncker went on to say that if negotiations fail, ‘the explanation will be found in the British camp’ adding: ‘The original sin is found on the islands and not on the continent.’
Speaking to Les Echos, he said: ‘A no-deal Brexit would lead to a collapse of the United Kingdom and a weakening of growth on the continent.’
Number 10 briefed yesterday morning that Angela Merkel had made clear a deal was ‘overwhelmingly unlikely’.
Mrs Merkel said a deal was impossible unless Northern Ireland remained permanently in a customs union, Downing Street sources said.
Irish leader Leo Varadkar said Ireland and the EU would not accept an agreement at ‘any cost’.
‘There are some fundamental objectives that haven’t changed for the past three years and we need them guaranteed,’ he told RTE news.
‘I think it is going to be very difficult to secure an agreement by next week, quite frankly.’
European leaders will gather for a summit next week which will be Mr Johnson’s last chance to secure a deal.
If he does not succeed, the Benn Act passed by opposition and rebel MPs last month will force him to ask for a further Brexit delay from Brussels.
Mr Johnson has insisted Britain will leave on October 31 regardless, while promising to obey the law.
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