Boris delivers his demands to Brussels and gets DUP on side
Yesterday Boris Johnson did what he does best at the Tory Party Conference with a rousing speech focused around the premise, ‘Get Brexit Done’.
With oodles of bonhomie, as usual, even referring to the Commons as a reality TV show, the assembled crowd were seduced by his performance which was peppered with academic reference and enough energy to generate a significant feel good factor.
But what of the substance?
Apart from being resolute that the UK would come out of Europe on 31 October, come what may, he then sent his new Brexit proposals to Brussels for their scrutiny.
The seven page letter, detailed his basic demands which were that the UK would not be part of either the single market or the customs union, and while Northern Ireland would also not be part of the customs union, it would be in the single market to assist the issue of cross-border trade.
He demands in his letter that this treaty should be reviewed every four years by the Northern Irish Assembly at Stormont, even though this assembly is still not sitting at the moment.
There would be a difference between how Northern Ireland and mainland UK would relate to trade, but most importantly it has got the DUP on side.
Arlene Roberts was enthusiastic about the content of this new deal and political commentators have also suggested that some Leave Labour MPs would also jump on board to ratify it.
As ever the numbers are going to be very tight at Westminster with Tory rebels, especially those who had the whip taken away from them, still determined to thwart Johnson’s plan.
However, the most important aspect of the PM’s strategy is that the European Union are prepared to accept his offer and as yet Jean Claude-Juncker and main players like Angela Merkel have made no such noises.