Monday, 19 November, 2018

Mooted Brexit deal is an 'absolute stinker', warns Boris Johnson

Mooted Brexit deal is an 'absolute stinker', warns Boris Johnson Mooted Brexit deal is an 'absolute stinker', warns Boris Johnson
Ray Hunter | 05 November, 2018, 23:20

The border impasse has heightened fears that the United Kingdom might crash out of the European Union without a deal on divorce terms and future relations, leading to chaos at ports and economic turmoil.

The close alignment envisaged under the deal would remove the need for a "backstop" for the Northern Ireland border.

A senior EU source said the United Kingdom prime minister would need determine whether she could sell an open-ended customs union to her party, but the calculation in Brussels was that it would be acceptable to the House of Commons as a whole.

After meeting Friday with Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney in Dublin, British Prime Minister Theresa May's deputy David Lidington said negotiators were "very close" to an agreement.

This would also completely avoid the need for a "backstop" solution, which would have seen a hard border return between the Republic Of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Downing Street proposals for a review mechanism are understood to be created to allay Conservative concerns over the Prime Minister's plan for the whole of the United Kingdom to remain temporarily in a customs union with the EU after Brexit.

He said there was a "rapidly ticking clock" but that minds were now being focused with a view to concluding a deal and he welcomed that.

Under the banner headline "Revealed: Theresa May's secret Brexit deal", The Sunday Times said the European Union accepts that regulatory checks on goods can be carried out in factories and shops rather than at the border.

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The UK statement did not refer to the Irish position that the mechanism could not involve a unilateral decision to end the backstop.

At the same time, it reported that the prime minister was on course to agree a future economic partnership that would leave open the possibility of Canada-style free trade deal sought by Brexiteers. "That is why we are increasingly positive on the expectation of reaching a deal".

"We continue to make good progress in the negotiations but there is work still to do", the prime minister's official spokesman said.

"He recalled the prior commitments made that the backstop must apply "unless and until" alternative arrangements are agreed".

"While we too hope the Northern Ireland backstop will never be required to be used, it will be required to be written down in legal text".

Chief Executives from Waterstones, Innocent Drinks and Lastminute.com stated that the United Kingdom faces either a "blindfold or a destructive hard Brexit" in the note.

More than 70 business leaders, including lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox and former J. Sainsbury Plc chief Justin King - signed a letter arguing that both the government's current plans for Brexit, and a no-deal Brexit, would be bad for companies and jobs.

However, May's former Brexit Secretary has said she must publish legal advice on any deal ahead of a Commons vote, so MPs are fully briefed.

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