British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has laid out his new Brexit plan to Parliament – indicating what he said is a key compromise.
Northern Ireland would be able to stay in the EU market for goods – but leave the customs union.
This inevitably means a new customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with new requirements for cross-border traders.
CGTN’s Nawied Jabarkhyl reports.
After months of waiting, Boris Johnson has finally laid out his plans for Brexit.
As expected, the issue of how to deal with the border between the UK and Ireland is at the heart of it.
The British government said it will keep Northern Ireland in the European Union’s Single Market for goods.
But, in a key difference to the current deal agreed with the EU, it will leave the Customs Union.
“They do not deliver everything that we would have wished. they do represent a compromise but to remain a prisoner of existing positions is to become a cause of deadlock rather than breakthrough and so we have made a genuine attempt to bridge the chasm to reconcile the apparently irreconcilable and to go the extra mile as time runs short”, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
Crucially, Northern Ireland’s biggest political party the DUP backs the move.
The European Union has cautiously welcomed the proposals but said “further work” is needed to make it acceptable to its 27 member states. And Johnson faces the tough task of pushing through any deal domestically.
On Thursday, he outlined his plans to lawmakers. But, it didn’t go over very well with the opposition.
“Those are unrealistic and damaging and will, as I think the Prime Minister full- well knows, be rejected in Brussels, rejected in this house and rejected across this country,” Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said.
One word that Boris Johnson has used repeatedly when talking about his latest proposal is compromise.
There is little doubt that both sides will need to show plenty of it if they are to strike a new deal.
But, the bigger worry may be time. There are just two weeks until a make or break Brexit summit in Brussels on October 17, when a deal needs to be reached.
If not, Britain may still crash out of the EU at the end of the month. The U.K. government said it has focusing its efforts on securing a deal.
Even if it does manage to get one in the coming days, it still has to get it approved by Parliament.
And with political tensions simmering near boiling point here in the UK, that’ll be easier said than done.