Any hope for Johnson's deal?

The prime minister is trying to save his unpopular deal


Opinion: Boris Johnson's deal is dead

Boris Johnson's proposed Brexit deal is on life support. It's only still alive officially because neither the UK or EU wants to pronounce it dead, to avoid accusations that they killed it.

The inevitable blame game has begun. In attacking Downing Street for its aggressive briefings which tore up the diplomatic rule book, some EU leaders walked into a trap set by Dominic Cummings, Johnson's most influential adviser.

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Is there any hope for Boris Johnson's Brexit deal?

By Joe Harker

Boris Johnson's Brexit deal is not at all popular with the EU.

After waiting for months for the UK to come up with some alternative deal to the one Theresa May struck last year, Johnson's final offer has dropped like a lead balloon.

He really needs to pass a deal if he's going to get Brexit done by the October 31 deadline, otherwise he'll have to ask for an extension.

Is there any chance that he can get through this situation and end up with a Brexit deal?

The Claim:

Andrew Grice of The Independent believes Johnson's deal is dead and just waiting for the EU to confirm it.

He writes that the only reason it hasn't been pronounced dead is because nobody wants to be accused of killing it. The first one to say the deal is dead runs the risk of taking the blame.

In this situation there really is no hope for the deal, it's like Stalin after his stroke with everybody too scared to go in and check on him.

If that's the case then there's no salvaging the deal, the UK and EU are instead in damage control mode in their attempts to come out of this with less blame than the other party.

A Brexit deal the EU can't work with that won't pass through parliament in the UK is a non-starter. Johnson has eight days until he is legally obliged to ask for an extension, that's not enough time to get a new deal onto the negotiating table.

The Counter Claim:

However, while the deal in its current form is widely disliked that doesn't mean there can't be some last tweaks to make it into something everyone can just about accept.

Johnson met with Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar for "detailed discussions" on the deal.

After the talks the pair of prime ministers said a Brexit deal continued to be in the interest of all parties (not true, any sort of Brexit will be bad for the UK) and Varadkar said he could "see a pathway to a possible deal".

That's the hope Johnson is staking his deal on, that his final offer can be tweaked and adjusted just enough to make it into something the EU can accept at the eleventh hour.

The prime minister will have more meetings and phonecalls ahead of an EU summit later in the month where the ultimate fate of his deal will be decided.

The Facts:

In the hopes that the prime minister will have secured a deal after the EU summit and has something to put to parliament the House of Commons will sit on Saturday October 19.

The deadline for Johnson to send a letter to the EU asking for an extension to Article 50 is midnight of that day, so Brexit proceedings will go right down to the wire before a delay can be secured.

If Johnson's deal has the thumbs up from the EU after the summit then he will have a chance to put it to parliament. He's a long way off getting it to that stage and hasn't got much time before a final decision has to be made. If there is any hope for Johnson's deal then it is a faint hope.

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Boris Johnson to meet Irish PM Leo Varadkar in race for Brexit deal

Boris Johnson will meet with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar for Brexit talks on Thursday as he battles to win over EU leaders sceptical to his proposals.

The prime minister and his Irish counterpart are to hold what both sides described as a "private meeting", in order to allow the leaders and their teams to have detailed discussions.

They will meet after EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier stated the UK and the bloc are "not really in a position where we are able to find an agreement".

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