EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says that the risk of a no-deal Brexit is very real. He also says he told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
…I have no emotional attachment to the backstop. But I made clear that I do have an intimate connection to its commitments. I have asked the prime minister to make, in writing, alternatives.
The commitment of the backstop, the open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which violates a central premise of the vote to leave the EU—British control of British borders—still amounts to a backdoor to partitioning Great Britain. Keep in mind that one of the EU’s early offers on this backstop was that Great Britain could put its hard border on the Irish Sea coast—an offer quickly deleted when its purpose was recognized as too obviously presented.
On top of that, Juncker has shown his unseriousness in these “negotiations” with his demand that Great Britain offer all the alternatives. Juncker has no need, apparently, to stoop so low as to offer his own.
Indeed, led by chief negotiator Michel Barnier,
EU negotiators say that he [Johnson] is yet to offer a viable replacement solution.
Because if they offered their own solution, and Great Britain accepted it, then Juncker and his court would have actually to say, “Yes,” finally.
It’s hard to see how negotiations can get more bad faith than this. Juncker is like an emperor on the throne awaiting the pleas of his supplicant.