British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his cabinet on Sunday a last-minute Brexit deal was still possible but there was significant work to be done to reach one, as intensive talks with the European Union entered their most critical stage, Reuters writes.
In a pivotal week that could decide the future of Brexit and the fate of the world’s fifth largest economy, Johnson is trying to strike an exit deal with the EU to allow an orderly split with its biggest trading partner on October 31.
However, Johnson must navigate the complexities of EU politics to strike a deal at an Oct. 17-18 EU summit and then try to convince a deeply divided British parliament on October 19 to ratify any deal.
If he succeeds, Britain will leave the bloc on Oct. 31 with arrangements to minimize disruption at borders and preserve the complex supply chains that underpin swathes of the economy.
If he fails, Britain faces an uncertain future – lawmakers will begin a battle to delay Brexit that could end up being decided in the courts, while Johnson will fight for a no-deal exit at the end of the month to ensure his political survival.
British and EU negotiators are working through the weekend see if they can turn proposals put forward by Johnson, and initially rejected by the EU, into a deal that works for both sides.