Boris Johnson Says Brexit Deal Still Possible
By Staff, Agencies
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his Cabinet Sunday that a last-minute Brexit deal was still a possibility but there was significant work to be done to reach one, as intensive talks with the European Union entered their most critical stage.
In a pivotal week that could decide the future of Brexit and the fate of the world’s fifth-largest economy, Johnson is trying to strike an exit deal with the EU to allow an orderly split with its biggest trading partner on Oct. 31.
But Johnson must navigate the complexities of EU politics to clinch a deal at an Oct. 17-18 EU summit and then try to convince a deeply divided British Parliament on Oct. 19 to ratify any agreement.
If he succeeds, Britain will leave the bloc on Oct. 31 with arrangements to minimize disruption at borders and preserve the complex supply chains that underpin swaths of the economy.
If he fails, Britain faces an uncertain future - lawmakers will begin a battle to delay Brexit that could end up being decided in the courts, while Johnson will fight for a no-deal exit at the end of the month to ensure his political survival.
British and EU negotiators were working through the weekend to see if they could turn the latest proposals into a deal that works for both sides.
Even if the latest round of talks were to go well, EU Brexit watchers still expect a delay to the Oct. 31 departure date, saying time would be needed to polish the detail and get any agreement ratified by Britain’s factious House of Commons.