BORIS Johnson has been accused of engaging in a “stupid blame game” after Downing Street claimed the EU had made a Brexit deal “impossible”.

Downing Street sources claimed German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made clear that an agreement was now “overwhelmingly unlikely”.

Following a telephone call with Johnson, she was said to have insisted Ireland must have a veto over Northern Ireland leaving the customs union.

Johnson’s claims provoked a furious response from European Council president Donald Tusk, who accused him of jeopardising the future security of the EU and the UK.

Boris Johnson, what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game,” he tweeted. “At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people.

“You don’t want a deal, you don’t want an extension, you don’t want to revoke, quo vadis?”

Responding to the row, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “The UK Government’s attempt to shift the blame for the Brexit fiasco to anyone but themselves – today it’s Merkel – is pathetically transparent.”

The SNP’s Europe and Foreign Affairs spokesperson at Westminster, Stephen Gethins said: “The reported comments by Angela Merkel confirm what we already knew to be true – Boris Johnson’s unworkable deal was designed to fail from the start in order to push Scotland and the UK closer towards a devastating no-deal crash out.

“This is the latest deceitful move by Boris Johnson to shift the blame to European partners – and it will not work. His ‘take it or leave it’ approach is threatening our economy, public services and risking 100,000 Scottish jobs. With time running out and his deal as it stands rejected by the EU, Boris Johnson must seek an extension to the October Brexit deadline as the law requires him to do so.

“In Westminster, it is vital that opposition parties move to swiftly bring this Tory Government down, secure an extension and call an election. They must put their party interests to the side and act in the national interest.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed that there had been a “frank exchange” of views with the German Chancellor, below, but refused to be drawn any further on the “source” claims.

The National:

The row comes after EU leaders made clear that Johnson’s plan to resolve the issue of the Northern Ireland backstop was not a basis for an agreement.

A Number 10 source said Merkel had told the Prime Minister that the UK could not leave the EU without leaving Northern Ireland behind in a customs union with the EU.

“It was a very useful clarifying moment in all sorts of ways,” theunnamed source, quoted by Sky News, said. “If this represents a new established position, then it means a deal is essentially impossible, not just now but ever.

“It also made clear that they are willing to torpedo the Good Friday Agreement.”

Irish deputy premier Simon Coveney said Tusk’s statement reflected the “frustration” felt across the EU.

“We remain open to finalise a fair Brexit deal but need a UK Government willing to work with EU to get it done,” he tweeted.

However, DUP leader Arlene Foster said Merkel’s reported comments showed the true objective of the EU and the Dublin was to permanently “trap” Northern Ireland in acustoms union.

“For the United Kingdom to be asked to leave a part of its sovereign territory in a foreign organisation of which the UK would no longer be a part and over which we would have no say whatsoever is beyond crazy,” she said. “No UK Government could ever concede such a surrender.”