Berlin expects Britain to crash out of the European Union on October 31, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday. “We cannot imagine reopening the Withdrawal Agreement,” Maas said in Helsinki, Finland. “We assume that Brexit will happen on October 31. We will do everything to avoid a no-deal Brexit.”

“The British government has made it clear that if there is no agreement [on the Irish border] a no-deal Brexit will happen,” Reuters quoted Maas as saying.

Britain has made alternative proposals to replace the Irish border backstop and it is simply wrong of Ireland and other EU states to suggest that London has not, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted on Friday.

When asked about remarks by Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney that Britain had not made concrete or credible proposals to replace the backstop, Shapps told Sky News: “It’s just not true.”

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