Sassoli says 'no progress' made on Brexit deal after talks with Johnson

EU demands UK face Brexit 'realism;' Johnson scrambles

EU demands UK face Brexit 'realism;' Johnson scrambles

European Council president Donald Tusk hit back at Number 10, accusing Mr Johnson of engaging in a "stupid blame game".

According to London, Merkel demanded a rewrite of Britain's approach to the long-vexing Irish border problem that made a compromise "essentially impossible".

Britain has been trying for more than three years to find a way to deliver on the result of a 2016 referendum and end its nearly five-decade involvement in the European project. He reiterated that if we did not reach an agreement then the United Kingdom will leave without a deal on the 31st October.

The German government refused to comment on what it said were "confidential conversations". Johnson's official spokesman also declined to say anything about the substance of the call.

"What's at stake is not winning some stupid blame game", Tusk wrote in a tweet directed at the prime minister.

"At stake is the future of Europe and the United Kingdom as well as the security and interests of our people", he tweeted.

Johnson talked to his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar for 40 minutes. "His strategy from day one has been no-deal Brexit".

The pair could meet in person later this week, he added.

The call came as the Government released its latest readiness plans for a no-deal Brexit, including a commitment for a "significant increase" in border agents and a new helpline to aid businesses prepare for the UK's exit from the bloc.

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Johnson has repeatedly said that he will not comply with the Benn act, which would instruct him to request an extension by 19 October if a deal is not secured with the EU.

The pound tumbled to the weakest level in a month versus the euro after the official briefed on the contents of the call.

Johnson, who took over from Theresa May in July, has been accused of political manoeuvring before calling a snap general election to strengthen his position in parliament.

Johnson's proposals outline a new way to avoid a hard border between European Union member the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit.

Arlene Foster, leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Union Party (DUP), said in a statement that "for the United Kingdom to be asked to leave a part of its sovereign territory in a foreign organisation of which the UK would no longer be a part and over which we would have no say whatsoever is beyond insane".

"She made clear a deal is overwhelmingly unlikely and she thinks the EU has a veto on us leaving the customs union", the source, quoted by Sky News, said.

"It is not down to him that we have no deal, the blame lies firmly in the laps of Remainers who have worked hand in glove with the European Union to scupper any attempt to leave the European Union!"

In response, a Downing Street source said: "The call with Merkel showed the European Union has adopted a new position".

The government did not deny the report in the Spectator, which also said Boris Johnson "will do all sorts of things to scupper a delay" to leaving the EU.

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