Boris Johnson set out red lines for the final days of the Brexit negotiations at a dinner in Brussels with Ursula von der Leyen – but made his case that a deal was still possible even as Europe prepared for the worst. Flanked by his chief negotiator and senior aides, the prime minister told the European commission president and the bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, that he could not accept terms in a treaty that would tie Britain to EU rules. As he spelled out his position over a three-course meal lasting over two hours in the commission’s Berlaymont headquarters, EU sources said the bloc planned to publish its no-deal contingency plans “very soon indeed” in order to keep planes flying and protect borders in the event of talks collapsing irretrievably. Talks looked set to continue up to the weekend at least but EU governments put themselves on notice for a last-minute breakdown. Johnson, however, made it clear that he believed a compromise could be made. It came after EU leaders told their parliaments the negotiations were on the edge of failure. “At the moment we are on the precipice of a no-deal [Brexit],” Ireland’s taoiseach, Micheál Martin, told the… Read full this story
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