The EU says they cannot agree a Brexit deal with Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson
  • A Brexit deal between the UK and the European Union is not currently possible, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator says.
  • Michel Barnier told the European Parliament that the EU cannot accept proposals made by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • The UK is due to leave the EU on October 31 but negotiations are on the verge of collapse.
  • Briefings made by the UK government against German Chancellor Angela Merkel have caused fury in Brussels.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

It is not possible for the European Union to agree a Brexit deal with the UK, given the current demands made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the EU's chief negotiator said on Wednesday.

Michel Barnier said that the latest proposals for a deal made by Johnson were unacceptable.Advertisement

"To put things frankly at this particular point we are not able to find an agreement," Barnier told the European Parliament.

He added: "The proposal of the British government as it stands is not something we can accept."

Read more: The EU could delay Brexit until next summer to allow a second referendum

The UK is due to leave the EU on October 31. However, talks about a possible Brexit deal came close to collapse this week after Downing Street made extraordinary claims about the content of a phone call between the prime minister and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

An unnamed Number 10 official claimed that Merkel told Johnson that Northern Ireland had to stay in the EU's customs union, which the source claimed meant a deal now looked "essentially impossible, not just now but ever."Donald Tusk, the European Council president, gave an insight into the level of anger about the reported details of the phone call, which senior German politicians described as "improbable."Advertisement

"What's at stake is not winning some stupid blame game," he wrote in a tweet addressed directly to Boris 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?]"

Tusk's comments were endorsed by European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker on Wednesday, who told the parliament that the EU would "not accept the blame game started in London".Advertisement

Under the terms of legislation passed by the UK parliament last month, Johnson must request a delay to Brexit if a deal has not been agreed with the EU by October 19.

Watch: The EU cannot accept Boris Johnson's Brexit proposals 

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the EU, direct from Business Insider's political reporters. Join here.