Brussels has accepted a “working hypothesis” of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph quoted unnamed diplomatic sources as saying.
“It was clear the UK does not have another plan. No intention to negotiate, which would require a plan. A no-deal now appears to be the UK government’s central scenario,” one of the sources claimed.
The statement comes as an unnamed UK government official was cited by Reuters as saying that London is still interested in clinching a new deal with the EU.
The official also bemoaned the fact that “they [the EU] don’t want to negotiate with us”.
“The fact that the Withdrawal Agreement has been rejected by large margins by the House of Commons on three occasions means that, if there's going to be a deal, they have to be prepared to renegotiate. We're ready and willing to do so,” the source pointed out.
This comes just a day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesperson emphasised that “the United Kingdom will be leaving the European Union on 31 October whatever the circumstances”.
The spokesperson refused to comment on any hypothetical questions, such as what if Johnson were to face a no-confidence or no-deal vote during general elections, or whether the Prime Minister would change his course if the parliament voted to stop or delay Brexit.
Johnson's Drive to Withdraw UK From EU With or Without Deal
Johnson has repeatedly signalled stated his determination to withdraw the United Kingdom from the bloc by the 31 October deadline, with or without a deal.
In his first speech as Prime Minister, he said that while London would work to secure a new and "better" deal with the EU, preparations for a potential no-deal Brexit would be necessary if Brussels refuses to negotiate any further.
Most recently, Johnson made it plain that even though Britain was not aiming for a no-deal Brexit, it may take place if the sides fail to reach a consensus.
"If they can't compromise, if they really can't do it, then clearly we have to get ready for a no-deal exit. It is up to the EU, this is their call, it's their call if they want us to do this,” he stressed.
UK citizens voted to leave the EU in 2016. Brexit was originally scheduled for late March of 2019 but UK lawmakers failed on several occasions to endorse a deal agreed upon by London and Brussels, and the deadline was moved to 31 October. Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May, stepped down following her failure to deliver on the withdrawal.