The deadline expires at the end of October, but the EU still sees opportunities for a compromise in the Brexit dispute: "Even if it is very difficult, an agreement with Britain remains possible," said EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier in the European Parliament. At the moment, however, no breakthrough is being made. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he expects more clarity in the coming days.
On Tuesday, the dispute over the UK's exit from the EU had worsened once again. The British government leaked after a phone call from Prime Minister Boris Johnson with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that an agreement with the EU may be excluded. EU Council President Donald Tusk then accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of having a "stupid Black Peter game".
Juncker also said, "I do not accept this 'blame game' that was started in London." He personally does not rule out a deal with the UK. The federal government objected to the British representation. "We have no new position to Brexit, neither the Federal Chancellor nor the Federal Government," said government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
No agreement on the backstop
The United Kingdom is expected to leave the EU as of 31 October. However, an exit agreement negotiated in 2018 is still not ratified, but is to be changed according to Johnson's will. Both sides actually wanted to reach an agreement until the EU summit at the end of next week.
Johnson has made suggestions on how to replace the previously provided guarantee clause for an open border in Ireland - the so-called backstop. However, EU negotiator Barnier rejected them in his parliamentary speech. Above all, Barnier criticized the fact that Johnson's concept did not provide for any credible checks on goods that came from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland. That was a "significant risk" for the EU internal market.
Will the Brexit be postponed again?
Whether or not both sides reach a compromise could become clearer this week. On Thursday, Johnson meets Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. A day later, Barnier wants to meet British Brexit minister Stephen Barclay in Brussels, a commission spokesman said. Also on Friday, the 27 remaining EU countries want to take stock in Brussels.
If a breakthrough is not achieved in time, the renewal of the withdrawal period is likely to be discussed at the summit on 17 and 18 October. Johnson has repeatedly said he will not apply for a further reprieve, but will lead his country with or without a deal on 31 October from the EU. A British law, however, forces the prime minister to apply for renewal if no compromise is reached by 19 October. But Johnson repeatedly threatened to simply ignore the law.
Because of his hard line in the Brexit dispute tilts in Johnson's government, the mood. According to the Times , five members of the Cabinet may resign, who refuse to leave without a contract. The exit candidates were Northern Ireland Minister Julian Smith, Minister of Culture Nicky Morgan, Minister of Justice Robert Buckland, Minister of Health Matt Hancock and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the government's main legal adviser.