situation report

U.K.: Brexit Deal 'Essentially Impossible,' British Officials Say

1 MIN READOct 8, 2019 | 14:04 GMT

What Happened: A Brexit deal that keeps Northern Ireland in a customs union with the European Union is "essentially impossible," British officials have said following a phone conversation between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Politico reported Oct. 8.

Why It Matters: The British government has been emphasizing that it prefers to leave the European Union with a deal, but EU officials have said London's new proposal doesn't sufficiently address the controversial Irish backstop. Despite the pessimism about a Brexit deal, British and EU officials are scheduled to continue their negotiations in Brussels to reach an agreement in time for the next European Council meeting on Oct. 17-18.

Background: If the European Union and the British government cannot reach a deal in time, London will likely ask Brussels for another extension to avoid a disorderly Brexit on Oct. 31.

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