Talks between Britain and the EU teetered on the brink of collapse on Tuesday with tit-for-tat claims of intransigence ahead of the October deadline for Brexit. Bank of England warned despite preparations, no-deal Brexit will hit UK households hard.
Britain's government plans to hold a special sitting of parliament on October 19, whether or not Prime Minister Boris Johnson secures a Brexit deal with the European Union, a government source said on Wednesday.
Parliament passed a law to force Johnson to seek a Brexit delay if he fails to negotiate a new deal with the EU at a summit on October 17-18. Johnson has said he will abide by the law but has also stood firm in his pledge to lead Britain out of the EU on October 31 no matter what.
The source said it was likely that parliament would sit on Saturday, October 19, either way, depending on the usual procedures to approve an extra day of sitting. If no deal has been reached, the day could be used to hold a series of votes on possible ways forward.
.@BorisJohnson, what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game. At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people. You don’t want a deal, you don’t want an extension, you don’t want to revoke, quo vadis?— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 8, 2019
Difficult to secure deal by next week - Irish PM
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said he found it "hard to disagree" with EU Council President Donald Tusk who lashed out at Johnson for toying with the future of the region, stressing that Dublin would "not strike a deal at any cost".
He said Johnson had restated his wish of finding an agreement during a 40-minute phone call with his Irish counterpart Leo Varadakar.
But Varadkar later on Tuesday night told broadcaster RTE he thought it would be "very difficult to secure an agreement by next week."
The two are expected to meet for talks later this week, according to the Press Association.
Disorderly Brexit will hit UK households hard - BoE
The Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee, which assesses financial risks, said on Wednesday that legislation, temporary permissions and other preparations by British authorities have been made to "ensure that households and businesses will be able to use existing and new services from EU financial institutions."
However, it warned that without further action by EU authorities, "some disruption to cross-border financial services in the event of a no-deal Brexit is possible."
It also said that in a disorderly Brexit, demand for UK assets could be expected to "fall sharply, depreciating (the pound) and tightening financial conditions for UK households and businesses."
On brink of collapse
The talks between Britain and the European Union teetered on the brink of collapse on Tuesday, with tit-for-tat claims of intransigence and sabotage before the end of the October deadline.
Johnson spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel as he tried to salvage new divorce terms he has proposed ahead of next week's pivotal EU summit in Brussels.
Unusually, Downing Street then provided a readout of what Merkel reportedly said, provoking an incendiary tweet from Tusk.
According to London, Merkel demanded a rewrite of Britain's approach to the long-vexing Irish border problem that made a compromise "essentially impossible".
The Downing Street official quoted Merkel as saying that a deal now looked "overwhelmingly unlikely", and added that the Brexit talks were "close to breaking down".
In Berlin, Merkel's office said it would not comment "on such confidential discussions".
Johnson's official spokesman also declined to say anything about the substance of the call.
But he told reporters the pair had a "frank exchange".
A frustrated Tusk accused Britain of playing with "the future of Europe and the UK" with no clear plan of what the country wanted.