Boris Johnson’s new deal teases the EU but leaves Irish unimpressed
After his rousing speech at the Tory Party Conference, Boris Johnson unveiled his new Brexit deal with enthusiasm and aplomb, urging parliamentarians and the electorate alike to get behind the new proposals and ‘Get Brexit Done’.
However, it appears that while the PM had conference, and the DUP on side, he forgot that he needed Europe’s approval to pursue his resolve to the finishing post.
Of course, it is in Brussels interest to resolve the Brexit chaos, so that it too can get back to other items on the European Agenda, but it seems despite Johnson’s enthusiasm, it is not being matched on the continent.
Guy Verhofstadt, the EU’s Brexit chief, has even suggested that an extension to Article 50 could be granted, even if that request was not signed by Johnson himself, which would certainly curtail his ambition and leading QC and MP Joanna Cherry agrees.
However, the timetable is getting tighter by the day and, while the prime minister has still hinted that there is a deal to be done that could get approval from the House of Commons, the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has made it clear, there is simply no way that he could agree to it.
It is his contention that Johnson’s latest proposition would mean that Ireland could, “end up in a situation whereby we are surrounded by a border on all sides, and that is certainly not a situation we want to be in.”
However, Jean-Claude Juncker has not dismissed the new plans out of hand and has promised that the EU will engage in talks in the next few days.
Approval of Johnson’s latest offering must be achieved by October 19 before The Benn Act will be triggered, a mere 15 days away, so the UK can expect the drama to mount in the next fortnight.