LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will present on Wednesday a plan under which Northern Ireland after “Brexit” will continue to be part of the EU single market until 2025, but will leave the EU customs union.
The proposal, which, according to the publication, Johnson discussed on October 1 on the phone with his European counterparts, is an alternative to the “backstop” regime, designed to ensure transparency of the border on the island of Ireland after Brexit. “Backstop,” which is part of the agreement reached between the EU and the government of Johnson’s predecessor Theresa may, remains the main obstacle in London’s negotiations with Brussels.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the new plan allows for the emergence of a temporary border on the Irish Sea and customs checks between leaving the EU as part of the UK Northern Ireland and the remaining EU member Republic of Ireland for four years from the end of the transition period after “Brexit.”
The prospects of the plan
It is expected that in 2025, the Assembly (unicameral Parliament) of Northern Ireland will decide whether it will continue to operate under EU rules or fully return to the implementation of British norms, which by that time should be very different from European.
The chief adviser to the British Prime Minister Dominic Cummings warned European officials that London intends to stop participating in the negotiations if they do not consider seriously the new proposal.
European politicians have repeatedly stated that they will not agree to change the already agreed mechanism of “backstop.” It differs from London’s new, time-limited offer in that it is indefinite and, in the absence of an agreement between London and Brussels, will automatically keep Ulster as part of the EU’s single market and customs union to avoid a hard border.
The publication informs that Johnson will announce his new proposals during a speech on Wednesday, which will conclude the Congress of the ruling Conservative party in Manchester.