Ireland Varadkar says Johnson told him he's confident of getting MPs to back Brexit deal
Johnson allies aim to ‘punish’ EU states that back Brexit delay
Boris Johnson’s allies are drawing up plans to supposedly punish EU member states that agree to extend the Article 50 Brexit process, in a further sign that Downing Street is preparing for exit negotiations in Brussels to end this week in an acrimonious breakdown. Mr Johnson’s aides admit there is little prospect of a breakthrough at an EU summit next week and that the EU will decide to push the prime minister into seeking a delay to Brexit, precipitating a general election.
TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told him he is confident of getting MPs to back a new Brexit deal.
The admission comes amid mounting speculation that a breakthrough in Brexit negotiations is imminent.
Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Varadkar said: “Initial indications are that we’re making progress, that the negotiations are moving in the right direction, but whether we’ll be able to conclude the revised Withdrawal Agreement … in time for the (EU) summit on Thursday that’s, as of now, unclear.”
Here's What Happens Now That Boris Johnson Has Been Forced To Request A Brexit Delay
Here's What Happens Now That Boris Johnson Has Been Forced To Request A Brexit DelayThe passing of the so-called Letwin amendment triggers another bit of legislation - the Benn act - which means Johnson must now write a letter to the EU asking for an Article 50 extension to January 31.
Varadkar stated that when he met Johnson last week, the prime minister said if the UK and EU could come to an agreement “he was confident that he would be able to get it through the House of Commons”.
However, the Taoiseach added: “But of course there are a few hurdles between now and then.”
Taoiseach says things might have changed in the last hour or so but he thinks there are still a few hurdles to goChristina Finn (@christinafinn8)
Varadkar said it’s too early to predict if Britain will seek another extension to leaving the European Union.
Are Anonymous No.10 Brexit Briefings ‘Revealing Splits In Boris Johnson’s Team’?
It’s been another huge political week. The Brexit negotiations nearly collapsed, a delegation of scores of Tories demanded reassurances from their leader and the Queen was dragged into politics again in recent days. Much of the damage has been done after anonymous “Number 10 source” briefings, some or all of which are thought to have emanated from Boris Johnson’s controversial chief of staff, Dominic Cummings.
We’re just going to have to see how the next few days develop. If we can get to an agreement on Thursday or Friday, and if the House of Commons is able to vote in favour of that agreement on Saturday, it may not be necessary to even consider an extension, but it’s too early to make that assessment at this stage.
Downing Street has said negotiations remain ongoing amid reports Johnson is closing in on a new deal after giving significant ground to the EU over the Irish border.
The Guardian has reported senior sources on both sides of the Channel saying that a draft treaty could be published tomorrow morning after the UK agreed in principle there will be a customs border in the Irish Sea.
Secret Cabinet memo: 'sea conflict' and panic buying after Brexit as no-deal looms
Secret Cabinet memo: 'sea conflict' and panic buying after Brexit as no-deal loomsCabinet ministers were given the dire warning as part of a confidential briefing from Tánaiste Simon Coveney.
However, Johnson’s official spokesman said: “Talks remain constructive but there is more work still to do.”
Downing Street sources were also downplaying the chances of a breakthrough being imminent, and an EU official also stressed that “talks are ongoing”.
Contains reporting from PA
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