UK Press Reverberates in Anticipation of Brexit Deal's Bleak Prospects

© AFP 2022 / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVASIn this file photo taken on 23 January 2019, anti-Brexit activists wave a Union Jack and a European Union flag as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in central London
In this file photo taken on 23 January 2019, anti-Brexit activists wave a Union Jack and a European Union flag as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in central London - Sputnik International
The European Union is widely expected to reject UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's latest Brexit proposals, as the 31 October deadline for taking the country out of the EU looms near.

Brexit woes have made it to the front pages of the UK papers again, as hopes are all but dashed regarding a successful deal to exit the EU.

The “Day the deal was doomed” is The Guardian’s headline, reflecting suggestions from No 10 sources that “talks are in tatters”, as it reports:

“Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan appeared all but dead last night as the government admitted there was little prospect of a deal before 31 October after a day of furious recriminations.”

​Similar pessimism over prospects for a deal was expressed by The Daily Telegraph, which pointed the finger of blame at the European Union.

The publication cites UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s allies as accusing German Chancellor Angela Merkel of rendering a Brexit deal “essentially impossible”.

“Merkel’s insistence that Northern Ireland must stay aligned with EU is the death knell,” reports the publication.

​The i reports that a Brexit deal is “impossible” as EU leaders “reject PM’s proposals”.

The paper says Boris Johnson has been accused of engaging in a “stupid blame game”, while quoting UK officials who “insist Brussels has hardened its position as time runs out”.

The Financial Times turns the spotlight on the relationship between UK PM Boris Johnson and Irish leader Leo Varadkar.

Although it holds out diminishing prospects for a Brexit deal, it writes:

“Johnson urges Varadkar to keep talking as Brexit deal hopes fade.”

According to the paper, Boris Johnson has urged Leo Varadkar “to keep faith” regarding Brexit negotiations, despite dwindling chances of an agreement being hammered out before the 31 October deadline.

​A picture of Boris Johnson squaring off against German Chancellor Angela Merkel is splashed across the front page of the Metro, as the cryptic headline reads:

“We’re going around in Merkels.”

According to the paper, the “hope of a Brexit deal is more distant than ever”.

It cites No 10 as blaming Germany for putting forth “impossible demands”, while the EU urges the UK to give up its “stupid blame game”.

​“That’s it then! PM’s angry clash spells end of deal,” is the headline that the Express went for, as Boris Johnson’s issues with the German Chancellor also feature prominently in the paper that writes:

“Brexit talks face collapse after Boris has bad-tempered phone call with German leader, blasting EU for making “impossible” demands on Britain.”

​A glimmer of hope is offered by The Times in its cover headline, that reads:

“Johnson gets last chance to keep Brexit deal alive.”

The paper writes that a “vital meeting” between the UK Prime Minister and Irish leader Leo Varadkar could take place on Thursday.

The paper also brands 8 October as an unfortunate day for Johnson, who was “fighting to salvage his Brexit deal after an explosive row with Angela Merkel put talks on the brink of collapse.”

​According to the Mirror, the UK Prime Minister is responsible for the current breakdown in Brexit negotiations, as he is “accused of sabotage”.

Writing that the Brexit deal is balancing on the brink of collapse, the paper reports that European Council President Donald Tusk had “taunted” Johnson, saying:

“You don’t want a deal.”

​Last week, UK Prime Minister Johnson unveiled a draft plan to take his country out of the EU, which offered to substitute the so-called Irish backstop with an alternative option that would create a regulatory zone in Ireland with minimum border checks. Brussels, however, was swift to discard the plan.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 8 October, and was reported to have deemed a Brexit deal as “overwhelmingly unlikely” unless Northern Ireland stays in the customs union, according to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, citing a Downing Street source.

The reports followed the Scottish Court of Session rejection of legal action obliging Boris Johnson to seek a Brexit extension.
Johnson has been insisting that the UK will leave the European Union by the 31 October deadline.

However, British laws oblige the prime minister to ask for a Brexit extension if a deal is not agreed upon by 19 October.

After the UK failed to leave the bloc on 29 March, due to the withdrawal deal being voted down by UK lawmakers, the European Council gave the country an extension until 31 October, with an option to leave earlier if the UK parliament passes the deal.

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