Irish PM says big gaps remain in Brexit talks

Irish PM says big gaps remain in Brexit talks

But the BBC's Adam Fleming said there was "scepticism" within the European Union that Mrs Merkel would have used such language.

According to London, Ms Merkel demanded a rewrite of Britain's approach to the long-vexing Irish border problem that made a compromise "essentially impossible".

In a sign that Johnson's last-ditch proposals to bridge the Brexit impasse have failed, a Downing Street source said Merkel and Johnson spoke on Tuesday morning and she made clear that a deal was "overwhelmingly unlikely".

Britain has been trying for more than three years to find a way to deliver on the result of a 2016 referendum and end its nearly five-decade involvement in the European project.

But the President of the European Council Donald Tusk sent a public tweet to Mr Johnson, accusing him of playing a "stupid blame game" - a criticism echoed by a number of opposition parties in the UK. A spokesman for Merkel's office declined to comment on confidential conversations.

But he told reporters the pair had a "frank exchange" - diplomatic speak for a disagreement.

Mr Johnson's opponents in Britain accused the government of deliberately undermining the Brexit talks.

Mr Johnson talked to his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar for 40 minutes.

LONDON (AP) - The British government says it still hopes to strike a Brexit deal with the European Union, despite mounting gloom on both sides of the Channel about the chances of success.

The pair could meet in person later this week, he added.

The Irish government published a 2020 spending plan with a $1.95 billion relief fund based on the assumption that there will be no agreement.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank, however, warned that "even a relatively benign no-deal Brexit" would see Britain's debt burden surge to 50-year highs.

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The pound tumbled to the weakest level in a month versus the euro after the official briefed on the contents of the call.

Heritage Foundation's Luke Coffey on new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's impact on Brexit.

Mr Mr Johnson, who took over from Theresa May in July, has been accused of political manoeuvring before calling a snap general election to strengthen his position in parliament.

Parliament is set to be suspended later Tuesday so that a new session can begin next week with a major policy speech from Mr Johnson's Conservative government.

Talks with the European Union to reach an agreement on Britain's departure have hit an impasse over the backstop, an insurance policy to prevent the return to a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland if a future trade deal falls short of keeping the border open.

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".

That agreement effectively created an invisible border between north and south, satisfying republicans who want a united Ireland and unionists who want to keep the status quo. This concession would be a major move by the European Union towards breaking the current Brexit deadlock which has been centered around the Irish backstop.

"If this represents a new established position then it means a deal is essentially impossible not just now but ever", the Downing Street source said.

"The last trading weeks have been one big highlight of how fragile the rally in the pound was over August and September", said Lars Merklin, a strategist at Danske Bank A/S.

However, British laws oblige the prime minister to ask for a Brexit extension if a deal is not agreed upon by 19 October.

Previously leaked government documents laid out the possibility of medicine and food shortages in the United Kingdom should Britain leave with no deal, as well as potential civil unrest.

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