LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled what he said would be his final offer to the European Union for an amended Brexit deal, warning that if the proposals are not accepted Britain will leave the bloc at the end of the month without a divorce deal.
Below are the key points from the offer:
NORTHERN IRISH BACKSTOP REMOVED:
“Our proposed compromise removes the so-called “backstop” in the previous Withdrawal Agreement,” Johnson said.
COMMITMENT TO 1998 GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT
The 500-km (300-mile) land border between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland has become the sticking point in efforts to agree on the terms of an orderly British exit from the European Union.
Ireland says an invisible border is a key national interest as any checks or infrastructure on the frontier could undermine Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace deal, known as the Good Friday Agreement.
The government says its new proposals are compatible with the agreement.
“Our proposal is centered on our commitment to find solutions which are compatible with the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. This framework is the fundamental basis for governance in Northern Ireland and protecting it is the highest priority for all.”
ALL-IRELAND REGULATORY ZONE
“It provides for the potential creation of an all-island regulatory zone on the island of Ireland, covering all goods and agrifood.”
“This zone would eliminate all regulatory checks for trade in goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland by ensuring that good regulations in Northern Ireland are the same as those in the rest of the EU.”
“This regulatory zone must depend on the consent of those affected by it. This is essential to the acceptability of arrangements under which part of the UK accepts the rules of a different political entity.”
UK CUSTOMS TERRITORY
After the end of the transition Brexit period, Northern Ireland will be fully part of the UK customs territory, not the EU Customs Union.
The UK will leave the EU customs union at the end of the transition period.
“We must do so whole and entire. Control of trade policy is fundamental to out future vision.”
Reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Paul Sandle; editing by Stephen Addison