We're a little more than three weeks away from a hard, no-deal Brexit and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is blaming German Chancellor Angela Merkel for what has been true since long before Boris even became prime minister.
The exact details and tone of their conversation aren't entirely clear, but Merkel reportedly rejected Johnson's proposals for replacing the so-called Irish border back-stop during a phone call this morning and Johnson is now pointing fingers at Merkel for making a Brexit deal "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”.
The Downing Street source said that if Merkel’s position on Northern Ireland remaining in the EU’s customs union was the bloc’s position, then a deal was impossible.
“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.
Merkel probably was not as confrontational or intransigent as Johnson's lackeys have told the press, but you might say it doesn't matter.
A Brexit deal that somehow threads every needle and does not lead to violence in Ireland or a deep recession in Britain has always been "essentially impossible." It was impossible for former Prime Minister Theresay May, it's impossible for Boris Johnson, and it will be impossible after he's gone. It is impossible "not just now but ever."
Merkel's position doesn't change any of these things. Merkel already signed off on a Brexit deal, but both Johnson and British parliament have decided that deal is unacceptable because it preserves freedom of movement in Ireland. British lawmakers decided they want to have their cake and eat it too, except there is no cake. They're just spinning their wheels.
European Council President Donald Tusk tore into Boris Johnson today, but he may as well have been addressing all of Britain.
.@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
Free idea: cancel the Brexit