The negotiations about the way the British leave the European Union seem to be practically fruitless. Anonymous sources around British Prime Minister Johnson state that his government has been oncoming, but there is no solution for the British part of Ireland (Northern Ireland).
Johnson called early Tuesday morning with the German government leader Angela Merkel. She told him, according to British media, that a departure agreement is now very unlikely unless London agrees that Northern Ireland will continue to be part of the European Customs Union. But, according to Johnson, that would not be acceptable and, in his opinion, it would make any deal impossible. He does not want to remain connected to EU via Northern Ireland.
French President Macron has said that he wants a workable plan from the British by the end of this week.
Johnson wants the free movement of goods to continue to exist between the Irish republic and Northern Ireland after the British departure. This goes less far than the customs union. The agreements that Johnson's predecessor Theresa May made with Brussels about the brexit, were mainly broken on the passages about the future status of Northern Ireland.
The British opposition Labor party has labeled Johnson's remark that a brexit deal has become essentially impossible as a cynical trick to sabotage the negotiations.
With May the EU had a 'backstop' (safety net arrangement), which would in fact continue to belong to the whole of the United Kingdom within the European customs union, until a new free trade agreement was concluded between the EU and London. The British House of Commons did not agree with this.
Johnson amended the agreement and now wants Northern Ireland, like the rest of the empire, to leave the customs union after the transition period in early 2021. In order to prevent a 'hard' border on the island, he proposes that for goods until at least 2025 there will remain free movement between the republic and Northern Ireland.
EU chairman Donald Tusk plays unusually hard and uncompromisingly on Johnson on social media. "The future of Europe and the United Kingdom is at stake, as are the safety and interests of our people. You don't want a deal, you don't want a delay, you don't want to revoke the decision to leave, what do you actually want?