President Macron to welcome Germany’s Angela Merkel amid Brexit brinkmanship

French President Emmanuel Macron hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris today ahead of the upcoming EU Summit on October

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Photo: Philippe Wojazer

French President Emmanuel Macron hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris today ahead of the upcoming EU Summit on October 17.

British PM Boris Johnson met with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Thursday. The two have hinted at an exit deal that keeps Northern Ireland within the EU customs union. While Johnson has not explicitly proposed this scenario, he has not ruled it out. The PM also proposed that post-Brexit, the conservative Democratic Unionist Party will have a veto over UK-Northern Ireland border relations.

While this proposition is in line with EU demands—that there be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland—Brussels opposes the veto proposition.

Johnson has to work on two fronts after he has drafted a plausible deal: get it passed in the British Parliament by October 19 as per the Benn Act and get the EU to sign it before October 31.

Merkel and Macron are crucial to achieving the latter requirement and are likely to approve a delay in Brexit. With massive concessions from the UK, the EU leaders can be expected to support the above scenario in the upcoming summit, but Johnson effectively has only six days to formalise the negotiations domestically.