Brussels publicly slapped down suggestions by the Brexit Secretary that the Irish backstop could be worked out after the UK leaves the EU. The EU commission warned that any deal would have to include a “workable and legally operational solution” agreed before 31 October. A leaked memo from the commission revealed Brussels said the latest draft proposals for a new deal "fall short of satisfying all the objectives of the Irish backstop". But the UK have insisted that they have so far only shared ideas with the EU rather than concrete proposals. It came after Stephen Barclay suggested the final details of alternative arrangements would not necessarily have to be agreed until December 2020, if a deal can be reached. But in a statement following talks between Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier and the Brexit Secretary, the EU said: “It is essential that there is a fully workable and legally operational solution included in the Withdrawal Agreement. It added: … [Read more...] about Brussels rubbishes plan to sort Irish backstop after Brexit
No irish backstop
Politicians have been quick to offer their verdict on Boris Johnson’s seven-page plan, but what does it contain and how is it different to Theresa May’s deal? The key difference is it replaces the controversial Irish border backstop with a new protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland grouped around five key points, including a big shift on how food and goods are treated and a legally binding role for the Northern Ireland devolved assembly, the so-called Stormont lock. Here are the five points: 1. Commitment to the Belfast/Good Friday agreement (GFA) of 1998 The government says it is clear it will not, under any circumstances, impose a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and its Brexit deal will be compatible with a protocol which “makes a firm commitment to avoiding customs checks, regulatory checks, or related physical infrastructure at the border”. Verdict: This immediately assuages fears raised 48 hours ago that Johnson’s deal involved a string … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson’s Brexit alternative to the Irish backstop: what’s new?
brexit countdown_bg Created with Sketch. Boris Johnson is expected to present his 'final offer' Brexit proposals to the EU in the coming days as he tries to secure a deal before the October 31 deadline. The Prime Minister will submit a formal plan setting out how the UK believes the Irish border backstop can be replaced. Today it emerged that the PM's proposed way forward could include the introduction of so-called 'customs clearance centres' away from the border. But how would they work and are they actually a part of the government's thinking? All of the key questions are answered below as the battle for Brexit enters its final phase. In broad terms, what is the plan to replace the backstop? Mr Johnson's proposals are expected to be based on establishing a so-called all-Ireland 'economic zone'. This zone would allow certain items to move across the Irish border without any checks because both sides would stick to the same … [Read more...] about ‘Customs clearance centres’ on either side of the Irish border, factory gates checks and ‘an all-Ireland economic zone’… so how WOULD Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan actually work?
Theresa May continues to believe the EU’s proposal for avoiding a hard border in Ireland is unacceptable, senior UK officials have stressed, after a plan to consider an extension to the post-Brexit transition period raised fears she was about to sign up to a Northern Ireland-only backstop. The prime minister told fellow leaders on Wednesday evening she was open to extending the transition period – one proposal mooted during intensive talks over the Irish backstop issue, which broke down without agreement last weekend. The EU has proposed that Northern Ireland in effect stay in the customs union and single market after December 2020, at the end of the transition period, should there be no deal in place that would avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. Arriving in Brussels on Thursday morning, May said: “The original proposal from the EU was one we could not accept in the UK. It would have created a customs border down the Irish Sea. “Earlier in the year we … [Read more...] about EU Brexit backstop plan ‘remains unacceptable’ to May
Theresa May may be ruing the day she entered into a confidence and supply agreement with a Northern Irish party in order to stay in power. Not for the first time, the Democratic Unionist party is threatening to torpedo her plans to secure a Brexit deal with the EU but this time it coincides with open revolt from inside her cabinet, a combination that could prove lethal to the prime minister. With the former Brexit secretary David Davis calling for rebellion and the possibility of more cabinet resignations, May needs the DUP’s 10 votes to prop up her government more than ever. As talk of a breakthrough in Brussels intensifies, the question is: can the prime minister call their bluff? The party, founded in 1971 by the evangelical preacher Ian Paisley, is unlikely ever to wield such influence in Westminster again and to vote against a Chequers-type Brexit deal with regulatory checks between Britain and Ireland would bring the curtain down on the DUP’s role as powerbroker. But … [Read more...] about Can Theresa May survive calling the DUP’s bluff on Brexit?