Published On: Fri, Oct 11th, 2019

Brexit latest: UK won’t leave on Oct 31 says EU insider as Boris deal sparks delay | UK | News

A senior EU source said due to the complexities of Mr Johnson’s deal, the so-called ‘paperwork’ that will accompany it is not something that can be done and dusted in a matter of days. The same EU source told BuzzFeed News that although it is “unlikely” an Article 50 extension will be needed, hinting the EU may well accept the Uk’s offer, the fact they could do so at the eleventh hour means that a delay will be needed to get the deal pushed through both the British and European Parliaments. The source said simply: “There will be no Brexit on 31/10.”

The news comes after Mr Johnson was accused of backtracking on his deal today.

When asked whether Northern Ireland would be leaving the EU customs union, the Prime Minister said this afternoon he did not want to give a running commentary on Brexit talks.

He told reporters: “I think it would be wrong of me to give a running commentary on the negotiations.

“Look at everything I’ve said previously and you can draw your own conclusions from that.”

Mr Johnson added: “I can tell you that under no circumstances will we see anything that damages the ability of the whole of the United Kingdom to take full advantage of Brexit and that is what people would expect.”

But former Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson expressed his growing concern about the latest Brexit negotiations around Northern Ireland.

He said: “Northern Ireland is being offered up by Boris Johnson as the sacrificial lamb to save Brexit for the rest of the UK, the ERG and especially English nationalists.

“If this is the path they are going to follow, it will be 1985 reincarnated and will prove to be the beginning of a process of Northern Ireland being separated from the rest of the UK.”

The Times reported the DUP is “not necessarily opposed” to a post-Brexit customs partnership with the EU.

Brexit negotiations will now enter the “tunnel” phase of intensive and secretive talks, which could a major boost for Mr Johnson’s prospects of brokering a fresh deal.

The accelerated negotiations were agreed to by the EU27 after a “constructive meeting” between the bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay in Brussels on Friday.

After talks came close to hitting the buffers, the Prime Minister managed to win some confidence that he can secure an agreement after meeting Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar yesterday.

 

Mr Barclay and Mr Barnier were dispatched after the two prime ministers held face-to-face discussions in the Wirral on Thursday, prompting the leaders to “see a pathway” to a possible agreement.

Both called this morning’s discussions “constructive” and Mr Barnier went on to meet the EU27 ambassadors who, the European Commission said, agreed to “intensify discussions over the coming days”.

This takes the negotiations into “the tunnel”, which is Brussels jargon for an in-depth phase of talks among a select group of negotiators designed to minimise leaks.


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