Boris Johnson and Irish Prime Minister Leo Vardkar will meet this Thursday as the British prime minister seeks a last minute solution for Brexit after the European Union publicly dismissed Downing Street’s previous strategy as a “blame game.”
After many English media outlets warned this week that Brexit negotiations were about to collapse, Johnson aims to meet the Irish politician to make sure that “both leaders and their teams have detailed discussions” to find a way forward.
Johnson’s team needs to work on every detail they can looking before next week’s high-level meeting between Brexit’s secretary Steve Barclay and Michel Barnier, who warned on Wednesday that the two parties “were not really in position to reach an agreement.”
Barnier revealed, during a speech in the EU parliament that he was deeply worried about the British plans being unilaterally discarded by the European group.
“The UK proposal represents a significant risk to the integrity of the single market, and time is limited. We are a week away from the European Council meeting and a few weeks away from the deadline on October 31,” added Barnier.
However, Brexit coordinator to the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, told parliament: “I’ll be less diplomatic than Michel Barnier. I think that the proposal that Boris Johnson presented exactly a week ago was nothing serious, dear colleagues.”
“It is nothing serious, because in fact it was not a real proposal, it was what I call a virtual proposal. It vetoes the SPD, it puts customs controls not at the border, but in all other parts of the islands of Ireland,” added Verhofstadt.
The meeting between Barclay and Barnier was schedule for next Thursday but has been moved to Friday morning due to agenda reasons, officials said.