Angela Merkel gives Britain until Oct 31 for Brexit solution

Clay Curtis
August 24, 2019

"What in my experience happens is that people find a way through and I think that if we approach this with sufficient patience and optimism, as I say, we can get this done and it is in the final furlong generally when the horses change places and the winning deal appears", he told the press.

Once the nightmare scenario on the extreme edge of probability ranges, a "no-deal" Brexit is now seen as a realistic possibility by both governments and investors.

"Under no circumstances will the United Kingdom government be instituting checks or controls at that border", Johnson said.

The German chancellor said her remark during a news conference Wednesday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was merely "an allegory for being able to do it in a short period of time". "Let's get on with deepening and intensifying the friendship and the partnership between our nations".

Instead, he simply warned that any withdrawal agreement that the two sides might reach in the next month wouldn't be very different from the existing one. "You have 30 days to produce what you, the British, could not produce in two years", he wrote on Twitter.

Mr Johnson flew to Paris after his three-course dinner with Mrs Merkel, an evening that a Downing Street spokesman called "constructive".

During his speech, the PM reminded his colleague across the Channel that Britain and France have been frequent collaborators - the French build London buses, while French trains run on rail tracks made in steel forges in Scunthorpe, he told Mr Macron.

A slightly more conciliatory tone from Germany ahead of PM Johnson's trip to France today to see President Macron.

A group of US legislators has written Prime Minister Boris Johnson, warning him that any trade deal with the United States is "highly unlikely" if the historic Good Friday accord is weakened.

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The EU's agriculture chief warned that if Britain crashes out without a deal on October 31, it would create a "foul atmosphere" that would spill over into any negotiations on a future trade deal between the two sides.

At stake is the so-called "backstop", which is a provision guaranteeing that border checks will not return between European Union member Ireland and Northern Ireland which is part of Britain.

Like German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, Macron supported allowing another 30 days to find a solution to the vexed issue of the Irish border which has bedevilled negotiations since 2017.

The backstop provided "indispensable guarantees to preserve stability in Ireland and the integrity of the single market", Macron said.

"We are not in the business of being steam-rolled at the end of this because a British prime minister has rolled out new red lines", he said.

It urged the EU-27 not to renegotiate the old Brexit deal and said Johnson's public claims about Ireland were "incorrect". "I don't think, to be fair, they have so far been very actively proposed over the last three years by the British government".

Sterling shot higher against the euro and dollar on Thursday, after comments from German leader Angela Merkel sparked hopes that a no-deal Brexit could be averted.

"There's not the thickness of a cigarette paper between us", the French official said.

Johnson, in a "do-or-die" gamble, has insisted Britain will leave the European Union on Oct.31, no matter whether it has ironed out remaining differences with the bloc or not.

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