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Johnson calls for substantial concessions on Ireland issue

No Border No Barrier
Johnson's plan for physical checks likely to meet with skepticism

Boris Johnson wants to make the EU a “final offer” for a new Brexit agreement on Wednesday. If this is not negotiated, the no-deal will come.

The British government threatens the EU to stop the negotiations and let it come to an unregulated Brexit if the “final offer” of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not negotiated. The British PM  will deliver the details of the “fair and reasonable compromise” in his speech at the end of the British Conservative Party Congress in Manchester on Wednesday, a government statement said.

According to a Telegraph report, the British head of government is insisting that the so-called backstop solution for the Irish-Northern Irish border provided for in the previous exit agreement be abolished. Otherwise it threatens an unlimited EU withdrawal on 31 October.

The plan, therefore, stipulates that Great Britain will leave the European Customs Union with Northern Ireland after a transitional period. Goods controls between the two parts of Ireland would thus be necessary. As was announced yesterday, they will take place off the border, be minimal and require no new infrastructure.

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Northern Ireland is to comply with EU rules on product standards for a further four years after the end of the transition phase at the end of 2020. That would be the length of time it would take to check goods between ports in the rest of the UK and  Northern Ireland and, but less at the Irish-Northern Irish border. Once the deadline has passed, the Northern Ireland Regional Parliament will decide whether the area should be aligned with the UK or the EU.

Johnson’s plan for physical checks likely to meet with skepticism

Overall, the proposal for Northern Ireland would mean that physical tests would be necessary both on trade with the rest of the UK and with neighboring Ireland. From the Perspective of Dublin and Brussels, this is likely to be met with considerable skepticism.

So far there are no controls at the Irish-Northern Irish border. The EU and Ireland insist that this remains so after the Brexit. Otherwise, there are fears that the Northern Ireland conflict will flare up again. In the decades-long civil war, the majority of Catholic supporters of an Irish association and predominantly Protestant loyalists of Great Britain faced each other.