09.10.2019 | Boris Johnson summons MPs for emergency Saturday Parliament session to decide Brexit fate
Source - The Daily Express
Government sources have told Reuters ministers are planning to call the Parliamentary session on October 19 - regardless of whether the Prime Minister is able to win an agreement from EU leaders on a Brexit deal. The summit in Brussels on October 17 and 18 is crucial as it is the last scheduled meeting of leaders throughout the bloc before Britain is set to leave on October 31. Mr Johnson sent a revised Brexit plan to the EU last week, but it has received a lukewarm response from leaders as fears grow the UK will leave without an agreement.
Hopes of a Brexit deal faded significantly on Tuesday when in a phone call to the Prime Minister, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear to him one was “overwhelmingly unlikely”, according to a Downing Street source.
Just hours after the phone call, European Council President Donald Tusk launched an extraordinary attack against Mr Johnson on Twitter, warning the UK against a “stupid blame game” and telling him "the future of Europe and the UK" is at stake.
He wrote: "@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 peopl
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar also admitted last night it would be “very difficult” to secure a Brexit deal by next week.
He said the UK had "repudiated" the failed deal that had been previously negotiated by Theresa May’s top team and had "sort of put half of that now back on the table, and are saying that's a concession. And of course it isn't, really".
Mr Johnson also held talks with the President of the European Parliament in Downing Street on Tuesday.
Tensions thought European have been rising significantly over the past 24 hours amid frantic manoeuvring in the fight to get a Brexit deal agreed.
The Downing Street source said Mrs Merkel told Mr Johnson the only way to break the current deadlock was for Northern Ireland to remain in the customs union.
But she warned it would also have to accept EU single market rules on trade in goods.
The source claimed this changing position in Germany’s approach made a negotiated deal “essentially impossible”.
But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman denied negotiations were over.
Mr Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost is continuing to meet EU counterparts in Brussels in a desperate attempt to thrash out a deal.
But the Downing Street source said the call between the Prime Minister and Mrs Merkel had been a “clarifying moment”, adding: "Talks in Brussels are close to breaking down."
Norbert Rottgen, an ally of Mrs Merkel who is also chair of the Bundestag's Foreign Affairs Committee, denied there had been a change in the German position.
He also poured cold water on Mr Johnson’s new Brexit proposals, defending the EU against earlier claims from Downing Street sources the EU has not been willing to engage in negotiations.
Mr Rottgen also echoed Mr Tusk’s comments. warning “blaming others for the current situation is not fair play”.
He tweeted: “There is no new #German position on #Brexit.
"Frankly a #deal on the basis of #Johnson’s proposals until October has been unrealistic from the beginning and yet the #EU has been willing to engage.
"Blaming others for the current situation is not fair play!