Following Boris’s call with Merkel in which she has refused to budge on the Northern Ireland border, a Number 10 source has told Sky’s Sam Coates:
‘The call with Merkel showed the EU has adopted a new position. She made clear a deal is overwhelmingly unlikely and she thinks the EU has a veto on us leaving the Customs Union. Merkel said that if Germany wanted to leave the EU they could do it no problem but the UK cannot leave without leaving Northern Ireland behind in a customs union and in full alignment forever. She said that Ireland is the government’s special problem and Ireland must at least have a veto on NI leaving. Merkel said that the PM should tell Northern Ireland that it must stay in full alignment forever, but that even this would not eliminate customs issues.
‘It was a very useful clarifying moment in all sorts of ways. If this represents a new established position, then it means a deal is essentially impossible not just now but ever. It also made clear that they are willing to torpedo the Good Friday Agreement’
Hardly pulling their punches at this point…
UPDATE: Tusk confirms the death of negotiations
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 people. You don’t want a deal, you don’t want an extension, you don’t want to revoke, quo vadis?
There’s no coming back from this…