At less than thirty days of a divorce promised by the British Prime Minister, nobody in Brussels or London is able to say if there will be a "deal", a "no deal" or a new postponement.
Unbelievable Brexit soap opera: Less than thirty days before a divorce from the European Union (EU) promised by Boris Johnson for October 31, no one in Brussels or London is able to say how this hectic story will end. "Deal"? No deal? New report – the third – of the Brexit date? Does the British Prime Minister himself have any idea? Not sure…
The dispatch to Brussels on Wednesday 2 October of its long-awaited proposal to replace the highly controversial safety net (or "backstop") intended to prevent the return of a border on the island of Ireland after the divorce with EU, does not help to clear the horizon. As it stands, it is very difficult to accept for Brussels and Dublin, primarily concerned.
What is it? Johnson has been saying since his arrival at Downing Street that he wants to remove the "backstop" from the divorce agreement, this insurance against the return of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland (in the EU) and Northern Ireland, which risks keeping the United Kingdom in the European Customs Union, depriving it of an autonomous trade policy and which its predecessor, Theresa May, had accepted.
Compromise "fair and reasonable"
Mr Johnson proposes that Northern Ireland remains aligned with the European internal market regulations for goods: live animals, agri-food products, manufacturers, etc. Regulatory controls between the two Irlandes would therefore not be necessary after the divorce. Products arriving in Ireland via the United Kingdom should be checked in British or Irish ports.
On the other hand, Northern Ireland would be a member of a British customs union, and the collection of customs duties on the passage between the Republic of Ireland (ie in the EU) and Northern Ireland would become necessary. She would not have however "Not at or near the border between the two countries (Virtual) " assures the British government. Exporters would complete upstream declarations, the tracking of the goods would be operated on the basis of a "Close cooperation between the United Kingdom and Ireland", with spot checks at a distance from the border. Small businesses, many in Ireland, would benefit from exemptions to save them from too heavy administrative burdens.