Michel Barnier: blame Boris Johnson for a no-deal Brexit - The Guardian

  • The EU Parliament has rejected UK PM Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan.
  • Barnier: Boris Johnson’s government will have to bear full responsibility for a no-deal Brexit.

The EU Parliament has rejected UK PM Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan and Ireland has also rejected the implied borders within the island. EU’s chief negotiator issued a stark warning over the weekend to the UK government with talks on brink of collapse. 

The Guardian has reported that Michel Barnier said Boris Johnson’s government will have to bear full responsibility for a no-deal Brexit, as more than three years of talks between the UK and Brussels appeared on the brink of collapse last night.

The Guardian reports: 

In what appeared to be the opening shots in a blame game as both sides sense failure, Barnier said he could not see how a deal could be done unless the British side came forward with revised proposals within days.

If it refused to do so – and there was no deal as a result – this would be viewed by the EU as the deliberate choice of Boris Johnson’s government.

“If they do not change, I do not believe, on the basis of the mandate I have been given by the EU27, that we can advance,” Barnier said on Saturday at an event in Paris organised by Le Monde.

If the UK was still serious about a deal it would return with “different proposals” this week and the EU side would be prepared to talk, he said.

But he added: “I want to be extremely clear. No deal will never be Europe’s choice. It would be – and note the conditional tense, because I hope still to find a deal – it would always be the UK’s choice, not ours. We’re ready for it, we’ve taken measures to protect our citizens and our businesses. But we do not want it.” His comments came as Downing St made clear it would not give any substantial ground and that the onus was on the EU to show flexibility.

FX implications:

The markets are pricing in the likelihood of an extension, as such the Pound is in limbo - "Johnson could face further difficulties tomorrow when the Court of Session in Edinburgh rules in a case bought by anti-Brexit campaigners who want to ensure he seeks an extension to the UK’s membership if he has not reached a deal with the EU by 19 October," the Guardian reports. 

However, should the PM manage to avoid needing to do so, as he may well go to the Supreme Court in an effort to avoid having to write a letter asking for a delay to Brexit, as set out in the Benn Act, then the Pound should come under significant pressure. 


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