Wednesday 23 October 2019

Johnson's final Brexit gambit: A double border for four years

British Prime Minster Boris Johnson. Photo: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali
British Prime Minster Boris Johnson. Photo: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali

Kevin Doyle and Peter Foster

Boris Johnson will unveil a new "two borders for four years" plan today in a desperate attempt to get a Brexit deal.

The proposed alternative to the backstop would leave Northern Ireland in a special relationship with Europe until 2025.

Although the UK government briefed a number of European capitals, Ireland did not make its priority list.

The plan, which Mr Johnson will deliver to the Conservative Party conference, will accept the need for both a regulatory border between the UK and Northern Ireland in the Irish Sea for four years - and customs checks between the North and south.

The plan will be met with fierce opposition here and from other EU leaders.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney last night described the reports as "worrying" and "concerning".

He insisted that anything involving customs checks on the island of Ireland amounted to "bad faith" given the commitments the UK have made not to introduce border infrastructure.

The plan effectively means Northern Ireland will remain within large parts of the EU single market until at least 2025 - but will leave the customs union with the rest of the UK.

Irish Independent

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