The British Prime Minister has presented what he sees as a "reasonable compromise" in a letter to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
To resolve the thorny issue of the Irish border, London proposed on Wednesday, October 2, a draft Brexit agreement with the European Union (EU) presented as "Fair and reasonable". Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced what he sees as a "Reasonable compromise" in a letter to the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. The latter immediately noted "Problematic points" in this plan.
Here are the main elements.
Single regulation on the island of Ireland
According to this plan, Northern Ireland would remain in the single European market for goods, including agri-food products, with the creation of a "Regulatory area" on the island. This would eliminate all regulatory controls between Northern Ireland and Ireland but this implies divergent regulations between the British province and the rest of the kingdom.
Agreement of the Northern Ireland Parliament
These arrangements will have to be approved during a transition period by the executive and the Northern Irish Parliament for them to come into force after its conclusion. Then again every four years.
Regulatory alignment could be extended indefinitely if approved by the Northern Ireland Parliament. Without consent, it would become obsolete.
Exit of the European Customs Union
Northern Ireland will exit from the European Customs Union after the end of the transition period. The province will continue to be part of the same customs area as the United Kingdom. "It has always been fundamental for this government that the UK leaves the European Customs Union at the end of the transition period., writes Boris Johnson in his letter to Jean-Claude Juncker. The control of our commercial policy is fundamental. "
No border controls
Although the exit of the customs union means that there will be a customs border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which will remain a member of the EU, the plan of Boris Johnson does not provide of controls "Neither at the border nor even near the border". For this, the plan provides for the simplification and improvement of customs legislation.
Movements of goods between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would be via online statements. Physical checks would only intervene on a "Very small proportion of movements based on a risk assessment". These controls could take place directly in the premises of the undertakings or in "Other designated places that can be located anywhere in Ireland or Northern Ireland".
For small traders, the plan provides for a simplification of procedures.
To help Northern Ireland adapt, the government is proposing a "New Deal" for the British province to boost Northern Ireland's economic growth and competitiveness and support infrastructure projects.