Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Mr Macron that Brussels should not be lured into the “mistaken belief” that Britain could extend its membership of the bloc beyond October 31 as he warned a no deal Brexit is still on the table. He told Macron, European Union leaders should “not be lured into the mistaken belief that the UK will stay in the EU”.
Number 10 warned Brussels that it would be an “historic misunderstanding” to believe the so-called Benn Act could prevent a no deal Brexit – despite being designed to do so.
But in a telephone call on Sunday, the French president reportedly told Mr Johnson that the Union will decide at the end of this week whether a deal is possible.
An Elysee official told the BBC: “The President told Mr Johnson that the negotiations should continue swiftly with Michel Barnier’s team in coming days, in order to evaluate at the end of the week whether a deal is possible that respects European Union principles.”
Downing Street said Mr Johnson made clear in calls to European leaders over the weekend that it was the final chance to strike a deal, but warned the EU must match the compromises the UK has made.
The Tory leader said he wanted to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both sides as he claimed that his new proposals commanded the support of MPs.
A senior Downing Street source said: “This is the chance to get a deal done: a deal that is backed by parliamentarians and a deal which involves compromise on all sides.
“The UK has made a big, important offer but it’s time for the Commission to show a willingness to compromise too. If not the UK will leave with no deal.
“The surrender act and its authors are undermining negotiations, but if EU leaders are betting that it will prevent no-deal, that would be a historic misunderstanding.”
Mr Johnson is expected to speak with other European leaders today and could travel to the continent later in the week in a bid to secure an agreement.
It is understood that the Government will consider publishing the full legal text, which has so far only been shared confidentially with Brussels, if it is deemed helpful to progress the negotiations.
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7.58am update: Corbyn to meet oppostion leaders and scrutinise Brexit deal
Jeremy Corbyn is set to meet the leaders of other opposition parties to scrutinise the Government’s new Brexit proposals.
Mr Corbyn will meet the SNP’s Ian Blackford, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and the Greens’ Caroline Lucas – as well as Anna Soubry of the Independent Group for Change and Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts.
Shadow cabinet ministers John McDonnell, Valerie Vaz and Shami Chakrabarti will also be in attendance, along with the Lib Dem’s Brexit spokesman Tom Brake.
Ahead of the meeting, Mr Corbyn said: “Labour is continuing to lead cross-party efforts to prevent a damaging No Deal. Today’s meeting will give us the chance to scrutinise the Government’s proposals together.
“It’s already clear that Johnson’s proposal would slash food safety and standards, exposing us to – among other things – chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef, currently banned under EU standards.
“That’s what a Trump Deal Brexit would mean in practice.
“And on environmental protections, Johnson’s proposals would mean the UK ditching the highest standards on things like air pollution or chemical safety.
“So the Tories are proposing weakening our existing environmental standards at exactly the point where urgent action is needed to tackle the climate emergency.
“The cross-party meeting will decide what next steps we can take together to hold the Government to account, and to ensure the Prime Minister adheres to the law in seeking an extension if no deal is reached by 19 October.”
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