Tuesday 8 October 2019 10:29 am

Brexit deal 'overwhelmingly unlikely', Merkel tells PM

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Boris Johnson a Brexit deal is “overwhelmingly unlikely” as talks in Brussels teeter on the brink.

Johnson spoke with Merkel on the phone this morning, as part of his ongoing charm offensive to get an 11th-hour deal secured.

However, a Downing Street source claims that Merkel told the PM there could only be a deal if Northern Ireland stays in customs union in what he described as “a clarifying moment”.

“The call with Merkel showed the EU has adopted a new position,” said the source. “She made clear a deal is overwhelmingly unlikely and she thinks the EU has a veto on us leaving the customs union.”

The same source added: “If this represents a new established position, then it means a deal is essentially impossible not just now but ever. It also made clear that they are willing to torpedo the Good Friday Agreement.”

Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary attacked the briefing as “yet another cynical attempt by Number 10 to sabotage the negotiations”.

He added: “Boris Johnson will never take responsibility for his own failure to put forward a credible deal. His strategy from day one has been for a No Deal Brexit.

“It is now more important than ever that Parliament unites to prevent this reckless government crashing us out of the EU at the end of the month.”

Main image: Getty