Johnson offers to replace the ‘backstop’ with a plan with an expiration date that breaks the customs union

The prime minister advocates reaching an agreement before the European Council that starts on October 17


The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, has proposed to the European Commission a plan that aims to “withdraw” the emergency safeguard for the Irish border in exchange for a new four-year plan that includes a new area with standards common to allow the traffic of “all goods” but a break with the customs union.

“This government wants to reach an agreement and I am sure we will achieve it,” Johnson proclaimed in a letter to the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, in which he has outlined the lines of a plan with which he wants to comply. his promise to get the United Kingdom out of the European Union on October 31.

Johnson offers to replace the ‘backstop’ with a plan with an expiration date that breaks the customs union
Johnson offers to replace the ‘backstop’ with a plan with an expiration date that breaks the customs union

Johnson, who wants to achieve the final pact before the European Council on October 17 and 18, has warned that all parties would be “responsible” for the failure of the negotiations and has suggested that only one of the “problems” arisen remains to be resolved. about the impending divorce, in reference to the so-called 'backstop'.

The 'premier' has recalled that Parliament has already rejected on three occasions the Withdrawal Agreement that includes said safeguard, negotiated by the Government of Theresa May and according to which Northern Ireland would continue indefinitely under European regulations if at the end of The transition phase – end of 2020 – there is no specific agreement to avoid a hard border.

According to Johnson, this 'backstop' is contrary to one of the basic premises of Brexit, that “the United Kingdom takes control of its own regulations and trade policy.” It is, in his opinion, “a bridge to nowhere”, so he has put on the table an alternative that, at least for the moment, has generated certain suspicions both in Brussels and in Dublin.

His plan raises the “potential creation” of an area with common standards “for the entire island of Ireland” and “covering all goods”, including agricultural and food products. Under this premise, “all” the legislative obstacles would be eliminated and there would be “very few physical controls”, in an apparent attempt to maintain the current commercial relations between the parties.

“We recognize that our proposals will mean changes in the current situation in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Our common goal is to ensure that these changes affect as little as possible on a day-to-day basis,” Johnson explained in his letter to Juncker, in which he has He also advocates respecting the Good Friday Agreements that pacified the Ulster in 1998.

This agreement raises among the requirements that are approved each year by the Norwegian authorities and set as a deadline 2024, contrary to what happens with the current 'backstop'. Johnson, who finds it necessary to correct the “major defect” over the time limit, has repeatedly warned that this safeguard could leave the United Kingdom at the mercy of what the EU dictates indefinitely.

Johnson has pointed out that, under this new plan, Northern Ireland will continue to be part of the “customs territory” of the community bloc, “not of the customs union”, at the end of the transition phase. “It has always been fundamental for this Government that the United Kingdom leave the customs union at the end of the transition period. We must do it completely,” he said.

In this regard, he has advocated breaking a union that guarantees, among other issues, that its members cannot impose lower tariffs to favor their commercial interests. Johnson has insisted that he does not want such an agreement: “Control of trade policy is fundamental to our vision for the future.”

Johnson is confident that his proposal will serve as a basis for “quick negotiations,” so that the United Kingdom and the EU can divorce in an “orderly” manner on October 31 and focus on the “positive future relationship” between the two sides. .

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