Boris Johnson calls for PM May to ditch Brexit border backstop

14 October, 2018, 04:58 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Mark Rutte and Angela Merkel outside the Dutch parliamentary complex

The tensions have arisen because the EU has made it clear it will refuse to sign an overall withdrawal agreement - paving the way for a transition deal and the opening of talks on an EU-UK trade deal - if the UK insists on specifying a date by which customs "backstop" arrangements created to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland must end.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May was challenged by a number of her cabinet ministers, including Liam Fox, the worldwide trade secretary and Michael Gove, the environment secretary, on Thursday who voiced concerns over her new backstop plan, fearing it would keep the UK in a customs union with the EU for an open-ended period of time.

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party says it prefers no Brexit deal to an agreement which amounts to the QUOTE annexation of the country.

Downing Street has insisted that Mrs May would never agree a Brexit deal with the EU which "traps" the United Kingdom permanently in a customs union.

He said: "Securing a good deal with our European Union partners remains our top priority".

Under May's proposals, the whole of the United Kingdom would forge a customs partnership with the European Union after a transition period ends in December 2020 in the event of the backstop being triggered.

The document stated that the UK Government "expects" this arrangement to remain in place no later than the end of December 2021.

Speaking to Northern Ireland journalists at her Downing Street office, May said on Thursday that talks on the Irish backstop were likely to continue until November.

However, the European Union is mounting resistance to any specific time limit being included in the text of the UK's Withdrawal Agreement while Leave-backing ministers are understood to be insistent that the end of the arrangement should be more precisely defined than the vague term "temporary".

British Isles brace for Storm Callum as powerful gusts hit Ireland
Met Eireann announced that weather warnings for the west and northwest coast would remain in place today until 5pm. In Galway city, coastal routes along the harbour are closed as a precaution ahead of high tide at around 7.45am.

Mrs Foster's comments come at a critical stage in the Brexit negotiations.

The Times newspaper reported May was warned the issue was so serious that she could face further cabinet resignations unless she found a way to ensure the backstop was not permanent.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May attends a roundtable meeting with business leaders, whose companies are inaugural signatories of the Race at Work Charter, at the Southbank Centre in London, Britain, October 11, 2018.

However, Norway's state-owned grid operator Statnett [STASF.UL] warned earlier this year that Brexit could hamper new projects, including two planned links with Norway.

The Blue Wave is targeting a "Dirty Dozen" of Conservatives, including an "an epic constituency-wide maildrop in Folkestone" - the seat of Damian Collins, the chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee who has clashed with Mr Banks.

Fellow Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach said she would not be "bullied" by Mr Banks.

At a Leave Means Leave rally in Torquay he accused the Government of adopting an approach of "managing decline" for the United Kingdom rather than seizing the opportunity of Brexit.

"I fully appreciate the risks of a "no deal" (Brexit) but the dangers of a bad deal are worse", Foster wrote in the Belfast Telegraph article.

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