LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):
The European Parliament’s chief Brexit official is warning proponents of a no-deal divorce in Britain that the thorny issues that have hobbled discussions won’t miraculously go away.
Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt said issues about the future relationship between Britain and the European Union will remain and perhaps prove more intractable in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
He said that “people were thinking in Britain: ‘oh yeah, we can do a no-deal and then we go sitting around the table and we are going to talk about a future relationship and everything will be fine’.”
Verhofstadt said that would “be nuts. No way.”
Britain is scheduled to leave the EU at the end of the month.
The EU has been consistent in saying that in a no-deal scenario, the questions over citizens’ rights, Britain’s divorce bill and the Irish border will need to be sorted out before discussions over the future trading relationship begins.
European Council President Donald Tusk has angrily addressed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a tweet that Brexit is not “some stupid blame game” and directly asked him where he wants to take the fast deteriorating negotiations.
After Downing Street offered an extremely negative reaction to a phone call between Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Tusk quickly retorted that the EU-U.K. talks weren’t about apportioning blame if the divorce turns out to be a chaotic and costly no-deal exit.
Tusk tweeted to Johnson: “what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game. At stake is the future of Europe and the UK.”
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.
EU leaders have demanded more “realism” from Britain in response to a Brexit plan proposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The bloc says the proposals don’t fulfil the U.K.’s commitment to a frictionless border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.
French President Emmanuel Macron says the EU will assess by Friday whether a deal is possible.
The British government says the U.K. will leave on Oct. 31 with or without a divorce deal, and is taking steps to minimize the pain of a no-deal exit.
It’s due to publish more details of planning for a no-deal Brexit on Tuesday.
Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and British politics at https://www.apnews.com/Brexit