Jean-Claude Juncker threatens Boris Johnson's over 'blame game' – 'EU has final say!'

JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER today accused Boris Johnson of triggering a “blame game” and declared the European Union will have the final say on Brexit.

The European Council President insisted he and Michel Barnier are working day or night to make a deal possible. Despite the apparent breakdown in talks, he insisted that an agreement between Brussels and UK is still possible before October 31. Mr Juncker also warned MPs in Westminster that any agreement would also have to be accepted by the European Parliament.

He told MEPs: “We must also deal with the departure of a member state, that is a choice of the British people and not the choice of the European Union. Although, we are respecting that choice.

As it stands we will remain in discussion with the UK on the terms of its departure and personally I don't exclude the deal we, Michel Barnier and myself, are working on the deal."

In a scathing attack, he added: “We are not accepting this blame game, which started in London.

"We are not to be blamed but we will see in the next coming days how things will develop.

Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker says London will be blamed for no-deal Brexit (Image: REUTERS)

“I would like to repeat, to the attention of our British friends, there is not only a parliament in Westminster that has to agree. Without the agreement of the European Parliament here there is no deal.”

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, delivered a blow-by-blow rejection of the UK proposal to replace the controversial Northern Ireland backstop.

He told MEPs there are three major issues with the Prime Minister's plans – with customs, consent and whether plans are fully operable.

Mr Barnier told MEPs: "To put things very frankly and to try an be objective at this particular point we're not really in a position where we're able to find an agreement. Time is pressing.

"The British proposals have led to three serious concerns. First of all, the issue of the border and checks on goods on the island of Ireland. Prime Minister Johnson has always been very clear in rejecting the backstop.

"The UK is simply proposing together in the protocol to take measures so that we avoid any kind of physical infrastructure or checks on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland

"Obviously we also want to achieve this objective."

Brexit calendar

Brexit calendar: These are the key dates to watch (Image: EXPRESS)

The EU chief also said that the consent mechanism requested by the Government effectively allows the DUP a veto over the backstop.

He said: "Unfortunately the British proposal as it stands simply has the implementation of the protocol based on a unilateral decision from the Northern Ireland authorities who could decide right from the very start not to activate the proposed solution.

"Even if it were to be implemented every four years they could call this into question."

The EU Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt was far less diplomatic in his assault against Brexit.

The Belgian MEP hit out at Mr Johnson, declaring the "real traitors" in Britain are attempting to take the UK out of the EU.

He said: “It is a blame game against everybody – against the Union, against Ireland, against Mrs Merkel, against British judiciary, against Labour, against the Liberal Democrats, even against Mrs May.

“The only person who is not to be blamed is Mr Johnson, himself, apparently.

“But all the rest are the source of our problems. All those not playing his games are traitors or collaborators…

“In my opinion, the real traitor is he or she who risks bringing disaster on her economy on his citizens by pushing Britain out of the European Union.”