UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tabled his first concrete proposal for replacing the Irish backstop, one of the main issues of contention halting negotiations for Britain exiting the EU by 31st October.
Business Insider reports that Mr Johnson has delivered an ultimatum to the EU, calling for the bloc to accept his plan for limited border checks on the Irish border or have the UK crash out of the EU without a deal by 31st October.
It is unclear how the House of Commons motion necessitating that Mr Johnson seek approval for a fresh withdrawal agreement, or approval for the UK to leave without a deal, will play into the Prime Minister’s plans.
Business Insider reports on a letter sent to outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, proposing an “all-island regulatory zone on the Island of Ireland”. The plan reportedly would translate into special rules applying to Norther Ireland in an effort to keep trade across the border with the Republic of Ireland after the UK exits the EU.
The UK Government’s proposal states that Northern Ireland would remain in the UK customs territory, meaning tariffs would need to be levied on goods shipped between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
It is being envisioned that most checks would take place electronically, however physical checks cannot be ruled out entirely. It is also being envisioned that most checks would not happen on the border.