Politics explained

What does Brussels really think of Boris Johnson’s Brexit proposals?

The EU’s polite but firm response shouldn’t be confused for its red lines changing, says Jon Stone

Saturday 05 October 2019 23:00
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The prime minister addresses Tory conference last week
The prime minister addresses Tory conference last week

Boris Johnson presented his Brexit proposals to Brussels on Wednesday. EU leaders responded politely, and didn’t immediately dismiss the plans. But they also said they weren’t good enough.

Under the plans, Northern Ireland would continue to follow single market regulations for goods, but be part of a separate UK customs union.

The result would be customs checks on goods passing between the republic and the north, and regulatory checks on goods passing between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Crucially, the Northern Ireland assembly would also be given a veto on the plan and have to approve it every four years.

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