EU Council President Says Johnson Is Playing Stupid Brexit Blame Game

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The source said that if the call represented a new position, it meant a deal was impossible "not just now but ever".

In Berlin, the German government confirmed that the call took place but declined to give details of the "confidential conversation".

European Union leaders, however, have reacted coolly to Mr Johnson's last-ditch proposals to bridge the impasse, indicating just how far apart the two sides are over the first departure of a sovereign state from the European Union, which was forged from Europe's ruins after World War II.

Legal action had been launched over fears the Prime Minister would attempt to find a loophole the so-called Benn Act. "At stake is the future of Europe and the United Kingdom".

"You don't want a deal, you don't want an extension, you don't want to revoke, quo vadis (where are you going)?"

But judge Lord Pentland said it was neither necessary nor appropriate' to make the order because representatives of the government had already accepted it would abide by the law.

David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, warned that the EU "will not agree to a deal that undermines the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process or compromise the integrity of our single market", as he sounded a pessimistic note following a meeting with Johnson in London. "Blaming others for the current situation is not fair play".

It's not clear how those two statements can be reconciled - but it's clear Johnson wants to pin the blame for any delay on Parliament and the European Union, so that he can campaign as a champion of Brexit in an election that's likely to be called soon.

Still, Mr Johnson's proposal remains better than no deal at all.

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The extent of potential damage from a no-deal Brexit was underscored by a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which said leaving without a deal would likely double Britain's budget deficit to around £100 billion ($123 billion).

The source added that those who hoped that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would help London were "deluded".

Hopes for deal still alive The British government is due to publish a plan for a potential no-deal Brexit later on Tuesday. The choice now is clear: "A clean break Brexit, or stay in a new militarised empire".

Mr Johnson's spokesman said: "The PM has been clear throughout that he will obey the law and we will leave on October 31". We'd like to end up in a relationship of the character the European Union offered us a year ago.

"Technical talks are continuing today so I don't see how talks could have actually broken down if they are happening today and in the days to continue", she said.

The EU denied its role had modified.

Lord Pentland was asked to consider the effects of the Benn Act - legislation passed by MPs with the intention of preventing the United Kingdom leaving the European Union (EU) without a deal on October 31.

The PM's official spokesman acknowledged there had been a "frank exchange" with Mrs Merkel and that the talks had reached a "critical point", but refused to be drawn any further on the "source" claims.

The Downing Street official quoted Merkel as saying that a deal now looked "overwhelming unlikely", and added that the Brexit talks were "close to breaking down".

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