Wednesday, February 26, 2020

London accuses Dublin and Berlin of failed negotiations

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While the final proposal of Downing Street has not convinced the Twenty-Seven, the prospect of a further postponement of divorce now seems very likely.

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Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson at a meeting in Berlin on August 21st. JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP

The British have an expression that the Europeans have gladly picked up lately: the "blame game" ("it's the fault of others"). Boris Johnson spent the bulk of September convincing his fellow citizens that he was the real "Mr. Brexit", the one who was going to deliver them a divorce with the European Union (EU) in time, on October 31st. Left to go to the "no deal".

In early October, after finally formulating his proposal to solve the thorny problem of the Irish border, the British Prime Minister seemed sincerely willing to reach an agreement with Brussels. But his idea – Northern Ireland would remain in the internal market and leave the customs union – remains too far from the red lines of the Twenty-Seven. Downing Street has also acknowledged, Tuesday, October 8, that the chances of a "deal" for the European summit of 17 and 18 October were minimal.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Brexit: Boris Johnson's final proposal cautiously welcomed in Brussels

The prospect of a new postponement of Brexit (the third) seems now very likely, the British MPs having legislated to avoid a "no deal". As a result, the British government has suddenly gone into "blame game" mode.

The goal ? To prevent divorce supporters from complaining too much to Boris Johnson for not keeping his promise, and not to vote for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party in the next general election; they should not be long in coming: the head of the British government no longer has a majority in Parliament.

British threat

According to anonymous official sources, whose confidences have multiplied in recent hours, the foreseeable failure of negotiations would be the fault of the Irish, Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel …

James Forsyth, journalist at Spectator published Monday evening an edifying "Mail" from "A contact" at Downing Street, almost without perspective. "The negotiations are likely to end this week. (…) Leo Varadkar (the Irish Prime Minister) do not want to negotiate. (…) It is clear that he is betting on a second referendum ", says this source.

And to threaten: if the British proposal for Ireland "Will die in the next few days, it will not be valid anymore", the Conservatives will then campaign for a "Immediate Brexit". And all countries that support a postponement of divorce "Will be in the queue for cooperation" with the United Kingdom …

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