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Only weeks ago from the final date, the negotiations have entered a critical phase.
United Kingdom officials leaked a private conversation Tuesday between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in which she said that the new British proposal for Brexit makes the agreement "basically impossible."
"The prime minister appealed to the chancellor to help him unhook the ship, and she refused," a Downing Street spokesman told reporters.
Merkel's demand that Northern Ireland remains within the Customs Union made the possibility of an agreement "basically impossible”, she added.
According to several British media outlets, Brexit talks were close to breaking down as EU authorities have said that the leaking of Johnson’s conversation with the German Chancellor aims to make it look like the EU isn’t doing its best to close a deal.
The German government refused to comment on the content of a private exchange.
The president of the European Council Donald Tusk lost his patience saying that "what's at stake is not winning a stupid blame game. At stake is the future of Europe and the U.K., as well as the safety and well-being of citizens. You don't want an agreement, you don't want an extension, you don't want to reverse the decision to leave the EU. Where are you going?"
After all the back-and-forth just weeks ago from the deadline for an agreement, the Brexit negotiations have entered a critical phase and the possibility of an extension till next summer looks like a way out after Johnson’s strategy has been dismissed as a “blame game.”
"The United Kingdom has moved its position very much. Now it's up to the EU to move if we want to reach a solution next week”, British sources reported.
It is not the first time the British delegation tries to generate the idea that the EU is now responsible for the outcome of the negotiations. Two weeks ago, Brexit secretary Stephen Barclays, said that after the new proposal handed by the U.K. team, finishing the agreement was up to the EU.
If a deal can be agreed, it will be rushed through Parliament before the Oct. 31 deadline, with both the House of Commons and the House of Lords sitting through the night.
Johnson lost influence over Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc on Sept. 9 when a law came into force demanding he delays Brexit until 2020 unless he can make a deal is in place by Oct. 19.
It’s unclear what Johnson’s next move over Brexit will be as the law obliges him to seek a delay unless he can strike a new deal, however, the U.K. and the EU are struggling to reach a last-minute agreement before Britain's planned departure still scheduled to happen Oct. 31.
The British parliament has rejected three times the withdrawal deal agreed between the last government and the EU, deepening a three-year crisis that threatens Britain's status as one of the world's pre-eminent financial centers and a stable destination for foreign investors.