British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set self-imposed deadlines and been forced to back away from them before but, for what it's worth, Johnson says he'll walk away from Brexit talks next week if there's no deal.
Pointing fingers at the other side of the English Channel, Johnson's top Brexit minister, Michael Gove, said the European Union is "intransigent."
“While we are keen to get a deal, we will not do a deal at any price,” Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove told a House of Lords committee on Wednesday. “If it is the case that the EU insists on an intransigent approach in the weeks ahead, then very well, we will be ready for that eventuality.” [...]
On Tuesday, a senior EU diplomat warned that the bloc had no plans to offer concessions to meet Johnson’s deadline, and would be ready to call his bluff.
Addressing those comments, the person familiar with the British position said the government was serious about walking out next week. Speaking alongside Gove to a committee in Parliament, Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost said a decision will be taken closer to Oct. 15 on whether a deal is within reach.
Is Boris Johnson bluffing?
Maybe, but it also may not matter. There are going to be significant disruptions to the British economy even if they do strike a last-minute deal and any last-minute deal could only be piecemeal if anything.
Johnson's government and his conservatives want to blame the European Union for everything and they'll continue to do so next year after Britain actually departs from the European customs union, and all the finger pointing in the world doesn't matter.
It's like Trump blaming President Obama or Hillary Clinton (or even Joe Biden) for things happening in the year 2020. The bottom line is he's in the White House and Boris Johnson is prime minister. It's on their watch. It's their shitshow. And whoever comes next will have to clean it up.
Cleaning up after the Brexit will be even worse than cleaning up after Trump. The next president can easily purge the federal government of political appointees and roll back Trump's executive orders, but the next prime minister can't snap their fingers and rejoin the European Union.
Boris Johnson recently broke his own withdrawal agreement with the EU so you can add that to the list of reasons why he can't point fingers at anyone but himself.