Angela Merkel comprehensively rejects Boris Johnson' Brexit offer, writes Robert Peston

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was urged not to press ahead with his plans for big tax cuts

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was urged not to press ahead with his plans for big tax cuts

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office blamed European Union intransigence for a breakdown in negotiations, sparking a warning from a top European Union leader against playing a "stupid blame game".

"At stake is the future of Europe and the United Kingdom as well as the security and interests of our people", he said, addressing Johnson. "You do not need a bargain, you do not need to have an extension, you do not wish to reverse, quo Vadis?" he asked.

The prime minister's official spokesman said the conversation had been "frank" but denied the negotiations were all but over.

Riding a wave of British frustrations with the saga, Mr Johnson is threatening to leave at any cost - with or without a withdrawal deal - on October 31.

Mr Johnson's office gave a gloomy assessment after a call between the prime minister and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday morning.

Johnson's proposals outline a new way to avoid a hard border between European Union member the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit.

Johnson has repeatedly said that he will not comply with the Benn act, which would instruct him to request an extension by 19 October if a deal is not secured with the EU. "If this represents an established position, it means a deal is essentially impossible".

Number 10 sources have accused the Irish premier of going back on a commitment to find a deal by the end of October.

Under a proposed U.K. Brexit plan there would be customs checks, but Britain says they could be conducted away from Northern Ireland's border.

"This government will not negotiate further so any delay would be totally pointless", the source was quoted as saying.

Those who support further delays would "go to the bottom of the queue", including on security issues, the sourced added. "Supporting delay will be seen by this Government as hostile interference in domestic politics, and over half of the public will agree with us".

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Earlier, a No. 10 source warned negotiations with Brussels could collapse and blamed Mr Varadkar for refusing to engage.

Mr Sassoli later told the BBC's Newsnight programme: "Angela Merkel's opinions must be taken seriously".

On Tuesday, new International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva said in her first speech since landing the top job that Brexit was contributing to a global growth slowdown.

"These cases are about keeping the prime minister on the straight and narrow", said Jolyon Maugham QC, one of the senior lawyers bringing the case.

Johnson vowed to take his country out of the European Union on October 31, with or without a deal.

Mr Tusk's intervention 'reflects the frustration across European Union and the enormity of what's at stake for us all, ' he said.

"I do hope a no-deal outcome can be avoided, but if not, the European Union has taken the necessary measures to prepare for this outcome".

In accordance with London, Merkel demanded a rewrite of Britain's strategy to the long-vexing Irish border drawback that made a compromise "essentially impossible".

We are working on a deal with the United Kingdom, "she said, adding that technical negotiations were ongoing". No UK Government could ever concede such a surrender.

A European Commission spokeswoman said the EU's position had not changed. It does appear at the moment that Britain is heading towards a no deal so we will be entering the unknown.

Stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic meanwhile posted losses on growing investor doubts over chances of success in this week's China-US trade talks.

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