Parliament has been prorogued for six days as the UK faced the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
Johnson last month secured an order from the queen to suspend parliament for a month until October 14. He was accused of using the procedural device of ‘prorogation’ for political purposes to curtail MPs’ ability to scrutinise the government’s Brexit plans.
But the Supreme Court ruled the September 10 to October 14 prorogation unlawful, meaning the session had not technically ended at all.
Instead, MPs returned to the House of Commons on September 25 to resume parliamentary business.
— UK House of Commons (@HouseofCommons) October 8, 2019
The new suspension – which was as originally planned – comes as the mood music in Westminster and Brussels suggested the UK was set to leave the European Union without an agreement.
Johnson is to hold crunch talks with Irish premier Leo Varadkar amid accusations from No 10 that the EU was making it “essentially impossible” for Britain to leave with an agreement.
But Mr Varadkar told an interviewer on Tuesday evening he thought it would be “very difficult” to secure an agreement by next week.
He said the UK had “repudiated” the deal negotiated previously with Theresa May’s government and had “sort of put half of that now back on the table, and are saying that’s a concession. And of course it isn’t, really”.
European Parliament’s president David Sassoli stated that Mr Johnson said to him that he “will not ask for an extension“
The sour tone continued later in the day during a meeting in London between Johnson and the European Parliament president, David Sassoli, who said that the British prime minister had been as intransigent as British officials had said Merkel was earlier in the day.
“I feel like it was [a] TV talk show rather than a meeting of this sort,” Sassoli said, adding that Johnson had refused to budge an inch, but merely repeated his insistence that the U.K. will leave at the end of this month “with or without a deal” and will not request an extension.
Sassoli said the U.K.’s current suggestions put forward to the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier “are not an actual proposal.”
“If the ideas are limited to what he handed over to [EU negotiator Michel] Barnier,” Sassoli said, “he doesn’t want an agreement.”
And following talks in Downing Street, the president of the European Parliament said there had been “no progress” and MEPs would not agree to a compromise deal “at any price”.
David Sassoli said the UK’s new proposed customs arrangements for Northern Ireland were a “long way from something to which the Parliament could agree”.
European Parliament’s president, David Sassoli told sky news that Mr Johnson said to him that he “will not ask for an extension“.
Brexit: Deal essentially impossible, No 10 source says after PM-Merkel call
Earlier there was fury in Brussels following a series of No 10 briefings claiming German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made clear a deal was now “overwhelmingly unlikely”.
Relations between the European Union and the British government soured badly on Tuesday after Downing Street indicated that Brexit talks were on the verge of collapse and blamed German chancellor Angela Merkel for their failure.
European Council President Donald Tusk responded by claiming that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had no intention of concluding a Brexit deal, and accused him of playing a “stupid blame game.”
The bad-tempered exchanges indicated that relations between the two sides have become deeply strained, with the deadline for the UK’s departure from the European Union looming and no deal yet agreed.
The bitterness appears to have flowed from a telephone call between Johnson and Merkel in which the two sides failed to agree on the thorny issue of the post-Brexit status of Northern Ireland, a fraught question that has dogged the talks.
An official UK government spokesperson admitted there had been a “full and frank exchange of views” on the call with Merkel — diplomatic code for an argument.
According to a different senior government source, Johnson laid blame on the EU for a failure to engage with new proposals he presented to the EU last week. According to the source, Johnson also claimed that “some” European officials are “clearly hoping a second referendum will reverse Brexit,” but assured Merkel that this “will not happen.”
The source said Downing Street was downbeat about the potential for a deal. “Talks in Brussels are close to breaking down despite the fact that the UK had moved a long way,” the source said.
After similar briefings appeared in the UK media on Tuesday, Tusk responded harshly. “What’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game,” Tusk posted on Twitter in a comment aimed directly at Johnson. “At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people. You don’t want a deal, you don’t want an extension, you don’t want to revoke, quo vadis [where are you going]?”
.@BorisJohnson, what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game. At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people. You don’t want a deal, you don’t want an extension, you don’t want to revoke, quo vadis?
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 8, 2019
Germany refused to comment on the call with Merkel. “As is customary, we don’t report from such confidential conversations,” a German government spokesman said.
Even as Downing Street expressed pessimism about the outcome of talks, British and EU negotiators were meeting in Brussels for technical discussions Tuesday. “These talks are reaching a critical point,” the UK government spokesman said. “The UK has moved a long way, and now we need to see movement from the EU side.”
Johnson unveiled his Brexit blueprint on October 2, which was welcomed by hardliners within his own Conservative party but dismissed by many European officials as a non-starter.
The next summit of EU leaders is on October 17 and 18 and time is running out for both parties to negotiate a new deal by the latest Brexit deadline of October 31.
If the Johnson doesn’t get a deal by October 19, he is obliged by law to seek a new extension to the Brexit process. But Johnson has long maintained that he would take the UK out of the European Union on October 31 “do or die.”
Again the European Parliament’s president, David Sassoli stated that Mr Johnson said to him that he “will not ask for an extension“. that leave both parliament prorogued and no deal imminent