Ireland in despair over Brexit deal collapse as anger at Macron grows 'France says no!'

Speaking at the EU summit this week, Irish Taoiseach, Micheal Martin claimed both sides would feel the impacts if a deal was not agreed. Although Boris Johnson claimed the UK is ready to leave without a deal, the Irish Prime Minister said he believed an agreement was within reach. Despite his comments, France has led a small pack of hard-line states pushing for the EU to keep to its red lines.

Due to the potential economic damage to France’s fishing industry, Emmanuel Macron has pressured EU officials against giving away too much to the UK.

It is thought Mr Macron exerted this pressure on Michel Barnier last week during talks, thus causing them to be suspended.

At the EU summit, Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, claimed a no deal is becoming more likely.

Amid this alleged pressure from France, Sunday Times columnist, Robert Colvile claimed the EU has now shifted its rhetoric.

He said: “Interesting how the EU has shifted from ‘where Ireland leads, we will follow’ to ‘sorry, lads, but France says no’.”

Ireland has long sought to strike a compromise between the EU and the UK due to the economic ramifications it could suffer.

As such, Mr Martin told reporters at the EU summit the two sides cannot proceed with a no deal Brexit when almost all of the deal has been agreed.

Mr Martin said: “Dialogue is key and both teams have given themselves a deadline of this Sunday, and I think the key to unlocking this is to stand back and look at the overall picture here.

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It is thought, however, both Mr Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have held conversations with the EU Commission President over Brexit.

Due to the impact the coronavirus, Mrs Merkel is looking to avoid a hard Brexit but not at the expense of European unity.

While national leaders have so far refused to enter talks, governments across the bloc will need to vote on any deal due to its nature.

It is thought the EU may ask national governments to do this at a later date in order to implement a deal as soon as possible.

MEPs will, however, need to ratify any agreement before it is then implemented and may be forced to do so at late notice due to the shortening timeline.

German MEP and chairman of the UK co-ordination group, David McAllister said: “We are ready to organise an additional extraordinary plenary session between Christmas and new year if this would be necessary.

“Of all options, a no-deal Brexit would be the worst one — it would have severe consequences for the EU but especially for the UK.”

If the two sides fail to agree a deal, they will revert to WTO terms from January 1.

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