- Brexit adds to looming recession fears in Europe
Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel in discussions with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Brexit during his visit to Germany gave him 30 days to come up with a viable solution to replace the backstop in order to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Following these talks, Johnson met with the head of the European Council at the G7 summit in France on Sunday to discuss the U.K.'s exit from the EU.
According to a statement from Johnson's office, he told Tusk that the U.K. would be leaving the EU on Oct. 31, "whatever the circumstances".
Johnson also said the U.K. would prefer to leave with a deal, describing the current withdrawal deal as "anti-democratic", and cautioned that it would not get through Parliament.
"The people of Northern Ireland would have no say in rules covering large swathes of their economy and it would actually be harder for us to exit the new arrangement than it is to leave the EU itself," Johnson said.
Moreover, Johnson and U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday discussed the "special relationship" between their two countries, with Trump promising the possibility of a trade deal.
Following the meeting, Trump told reporters that a "very big" deal between Washington and London would be possible after the U.K. leaves the EU, describing it as an "obstacle".
"We are going to do a very big trade deal, bigger than we have ever had with the U.K. and now at some point they won’t have the obstacle, they won’t have the anchor around their ankle because that’s what they have,” he said.
Time is ticking and over the last couple of days, no sign of a solution has emerged. It is clear the backstop is the key issue both for the EU and the U.K. and in order to avoid a hard border, a new and more creative plan for Brexit is needed.
However, despite the hard position taken by Brussels, the upcoming days could see more flexibility from the EU. Many countries in Europe, including Germany, France Italy, and the U.K. are on the brink of a recession while Brexit is adding to Europe’s woes. A ‘no deal’ strategy is neither good for the U.K. or for Europe’s fragile economic outlook.