Prime minister says his Brexit proposals are on track and do not resemble leaked documents
Today the final Brexit gun will be fired and only thirty-one days stand between the UK and exiting the European Union.
There is little doubt that the main agenda at the Conservative Party conference this week has been what will appear on their manifesto at, what many regard to be, the imminent general election.
Declarations about extra police on the streets, new hospitals to be built and improved transport infrastructures have been repeatedly served up, not only by speakers at conference, but by any Tory politicians interviewed by the media.
It seems that any discussions about Brexit have been sidelined and the emphasis focused on the UK after severing ties with Europe, until today.
Under the increasing frustration from journalists, and the public at large, and fuelled by recently leaked documents Boris Johnson felt it was time to be quizzed about his Brexit plans.
Everyone is familiar with his ‘do or die” mantra about leaving the EU at Halloween, but yesterday documents appeared which suggested that the government was going to get over the Irish border issue by establishing customs checkpoints away from the border.
As Dominic Grieve and others remarked, however, these were exactly the same ‘arrangements‘ that Theresa May had proposed in her Withdrawal Agreement.
Boris Johnson was drawn out into the open as a result of these suggestions today, with a fifteen minute interview by Dan Walker on BBC Breakfast.
However, during the course of the interview, Johnson once again insisted that his deal would involve changes to the Irish backstop and the political declaration, but gave no hint as to how this would be done, although he refuted that checkpoints away from the border would be the solution.
With his usual bonhomie and bluster the PM impressed upon his interviewer that there were fantastic opportunities for the UK outside the customs union, but once again he failed to state how this would be achieved.
While touching briefly on the accusations regarding his conduct towards women that have dominated the headlines, all that emerged was that he would make “formal proposals” to Brussels “soon”.
’Soon’ is actually October 14, a mere fortnight away and it seems that neither the EU, MPs or parliament are going to find out anymore until then.
This is a nip and tuck game of chess, with an outcome than few, even the bookies can predict.