Germany is expecting a no-deal Brexit, secret document reveals

Ellen Manning
A British Union flag, also known as the Union Jack, left, flies beside European Union (EU) flags outside the headquarters of the European Commission, in Brussels, Belgium. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg
Germany expects the UK to crash out of Europe with no deal, it has been reported (Picture: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg)

The German government is expecting Britain to crash out of Europe with no deal, it has been reported.

German newspaper The Handelsblatt reported that a finance ministry document said the government believed a no-deal Brexit was “highly likely” due to Boris Johnson’s demands that the backstop is dropped from the agreement.

According to The Handelsblatt, the document says that given that the EU would have no choice but to reject the demand, while Mr Johnson is also unlikely to change his position, it will make a deal impossible to reach.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) speaks flanked by Youth Justice Board Adviser Roy Sefa-Attakora (R) during a roundtable on the criminal justice system at 10 Downing Street in London on August 12, 2019. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Plans are already afoot to make sure Boris Johnson can't take Britain out of the EU without a deal (Picture:DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Mr Johnson has vowed that Britain will leave the EU on October 31 “do or die”.

But plans are already afoot by the Prime Minister’s opponents to ensure a no-deal Brexit doesn’t happen.


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According to The Times, a leaked strategy document circulated to Labour and Conservative rebels suggests that MPs plan to force Mr Johnson to request an 11th-hour Brexit extension from the EU by blocking any attempt by him to call an election before October 31 unless he agrees.

MPs could also use a vote of no confidence to establish a new government.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has proposed that he should be caretaker Prime Minister if he wins a vote of no confidence.

If successful he would aim for a snap election in which he would campaign for another referendum, he has said.

But Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said Tory grandee Ken Clarke and former deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman should be considered to lead an emergency government to avoid a no-deal Brexit, saying Mr Corbyn doesn’t have enough support from MPs.

According to The Times, the leaked strategy document also suggested that MPs could use the 14 days they have to establish a new government following a vote of no confidence to change the law, compelling Mr Johnson to ask for an extension to Article 50.

Mr Johnson’s opponents have already taken some steps to combat a no-deal Brexit, changed the law to make sure Parliament can’t be shut down in the run up to October 31.