UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will unveil detailed plans for Brexit to the European Union before Thursday this week, including how to avoid a hard border in northern Ireland, a government source told Reuters on Monday night.
Johnson has vowed to renegotiate the UK’s current withdrawal agreement and demanded the abolition of the Irish border backstop arrangement. The backstop is designed as an insurance mechanism to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland regardless of the future EU/UK trade relationship.
RTE reported on Monday night that Johnson’s plan to replace the backstop could include “customs clearance sites” on both sides of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The location of inspections would be for customs authorities to decide and could be at the destination or could be at dedicated premises, but most would be expected to be well away from the border.
Johnson’s office dismissed suggestions the UK would propose a “string of inspection posts”, as RTE claimed the plans would effectively amount to.
Euronews reports that the news came hours after Sajid Javad, the Chancellor, said that the UK was ready to “draw on the full armoury of economic policy” if Britain had to leave the EU without a deal, something that Johnson continues to refuse to rule out as an option come October 31.
Speaking at the Conservative party conference in Manchester a month before Britain is due to leave the EU, Javid said his department would prepare a comprehensive response, working with the Bank of England.
Via Euronews / Sky News / RTE