Brexit: ‘A no-deal election is on the cards’
What the British papers say: A day of Brexit deal doom and gloom
Tuesday was another dramatic day in the three-year long Brexit process, as Downing Street sources briefed against Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and German chancellor Angela Merkel and predicted the end of the negotiations road.
Predictably, another day of dramatic front pages has followed.
The Guardian’s lead is “Day the deal was doomed” with No 10 sources suggesting that “talks are in tatters”.
“Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan appeared all but dead last night as the government admitted there was little prospect of a deal before 31 October after a day of furious recriminations,” it reports.
Its editorial, “A no-deal election is on the cards”, reads: “It will be hard to row back from here, as evidence mounts that a breakdown in negotiations is something Mr Johnson and his chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, are ready to actively seek, as long as they can pin it on the perfidy of the EU.”
The Daily Telegraph is similarly pessimistic about prospects of an agreement – “Brexit deal now ‘essentially impossible’” – but lays the blame squarely at the feet of the EU, saying “Merkel’s insistence that Northern Ireland must stay aligned with EU is the death knell”, as Johnson allies “accused Angela Merkel of making a Brexit deal ‘essentially impossible’”.
The i reports: “Brexit deal ‘impossible’ as EU leaders reject PM’s proposals”. The paper says Johnson has been accused “of playing ‘stupid blame game’,” while quoting UK officials who “insist Brussels has hardened its position as times runs out”.
The FT focuses on the relationship between the British prime minister and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, saying: “Johnson urges Varadkar to keep talking as Brexit deal hopes fade”. The paper reports that “Boris Johnson has urged Leo Varadkar to keep faith with talks on a possible Brexit deal, despite Downing Street fears that the prospects for an agreement before October 31 are all but dead”.
The Metro’s front cover has a picture of the prime minister facing off against the German chancellor with the headline “We’re going around in Merkels”. The paper says that the “hope of a Brexit deal is more distant than ever”, with No 10 accusing Germany of “making impossible demands”, while the EU tells the UK to stop with its “‘stupid blame game’”.
The Express reports “Brexit talks face collapse after Boris has bad-tempered phone call with German leader, blasting EU for making ‘impossible’ demands on Britain”.
“That’s it then! PM’s angry clash spells end of deal,” is the paper’s headline.
The Times is more hopeful, however, saying “Johnson gets last chance to keep Brexit deal alive”. The paper reports that a “vital meeting” between the PM and Irish leader Leo Varadkar could take place on Thursday, but does recognise Tuesday was not a good day for Johnson, saying he was “fighting to salvage his Brexit deal after an explosive row with Angela Merkel put talks on the brink of collapse”.
The Mirror suggests Boris Johnson is to blame for breakdown in talks and has been “accused of sabotage”. The paper reports that the prime minister’s Brexit plan is now “on the verge of collapse” and that Donald Tusk had “taunted” Johnson, saying: “You don’t want a deal”.
The Sun has a small story on Johnson’s Brexit woes, under the headline: “Boris in last-gasp Brex talk with Irish”. But it’s main story is “Cha cha chaps”, about the ITV decision to feature a male couple on the new series of Dancing on Ice, a move the paper says will “make telly history”.
The Mail shifts its focus from Brexit and leads on what it has labelled the “dementia care scandal”, as 356,000 signed a petition urging Johnson to “fix a broken system that forces countless pensioners to sell their homes to fund crippling care costs”.
- Guardian service