No. 10: Merkel Has Killed a Deal

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…

mdi-timer 8th October 2019 @ 10:34 am 8th Oct 2019 @ 10:34 am mdi-comment Comments
EU’s Good Cop Bad Cop Game

Last night in Berlin, Angela Merkel made surprisingly positive noises towards a surprisingly diplomatic Boris Johnson, that surprised even Number 10 in their warmth. Despite this morning the PM’s team playing down their significance, Merkel told a press conference yesterday that:

“I see possibilities… It was said we will probably find a solution in two years, we can maybe find it in the next 30 days.”

Insiders are not expecting today’s “working lunch” with Emmanuel Macron to go anywhere like as smoothly, already briefing the meeting will be “frank”, a diplomatic word for frosty. The French President told reporters last night  “Renegotiation of the terms currently proposed by the British is not an option that exists, and that has always been made clear by President Tusk.” Good cop bad cop…

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis told the Today Programme this morning that he recognises the thirty day timetable as an important timeframe as the UK Government does not expect serious crunch discussion until the end of September, after it can be proved to the EU that Parliament cannot stop No Deal. As long as Parliament doesn’t stop Number 10 holding its strong line, the Government expects the EU to properly engage until Conference recess towards the end of next month…

mdi-timer 22nd August 2019 @ 8:30 am 22nd Aug 2019 @ 8:30 am mdi-comment Comments
PM Boris Meets Chancellor Merkel

Boris’ German visit is already off to a better start to his predecessor, after May arrived too early in April, and her car door got stuck last December. Early days but smooth sailing for Boris so far…

mdi-timer 21st August 2019 @ 5:06 pm 21st Aug 2019 @ 5:06 pm mdi-comment Comments
Merkel: Backstop Can Be ‘Overwritten’

Merkel has given a strong hint that the EU could be prepared to move on the backstop, telling a German press conference that the backstop will be “overwritten” if alternative solutions can be found. This doesn’t actually change the EU’s position yet – as things stand the UK would still be signing up to the backstop in the legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement while the alternative arrangements would be in the non-binding political declaration. It’s still a significant softening of the EU’s rhetoric around the backstop after stonewalling the issue throughout the Tory leadership contest…

It’s good timing, the Alternative Arrangements Commission run by ProsperityUK, led by Greg Hands and Nicky Morgan, published their 268-page Alternative Arrangements Report and Protocols just yesterday. No solution for the Irish border is going to be perfect from day one but it does blow apart the fiction promulgated by May and the EU that the backstop is the only way to solve the border issue. The backstop remains by far the single biggest impediment to a sensible deal, no excuse for either sides’ negotiators not to be looking at alternative arrangements now…

mdi-timer 19th July 2019 @ 11:27 am 19th Jul 2019 @ 11:27 am mdi-comment Comments
Merkel Cancels Resignation, Decides Successor Not Up to Job

If the Tories thought they were having trouble getting rid of Theresa May, they should spare a thought for the German CDU where Angela Merkel has just announced that she won’t be resigning as German Chancellor after all. Heiliger Strohsack!

Merkel has reportedly decided that her chosen successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, abbreviated to slightly dubious acronym ‘AKK’, is not up to the job after watching her popularity slide since she took over leadership of the CDU. AKK led the CDU to its worst ever performance in the EU elections, which people actually care about in Germany. Merkel now wants to hang on at least until 2021. As long as Theresa May doesn’t get any ideas…

mdi-timer 28th May 2019 @ 12:31 pm 28th May 2019 @ 12:31 pm mdi-comment Comments
May Comes Too Early for Merkel

Oops. Guido can’t make his mind up as to whether this is an improvement on December when she couldn’t get out of the car:

At least the door worked this time…

mdi-timer 9th April 2019 @ 12:49 pm 9th Apr 2019 @ 12:49 pm mdi-comment Comments
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