UK’s Johnson sends EU ‘final offer’ on Brexit

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday sent a final Brexit proposal to the European Union as the Oct. 31 exit date looms, Reuters reports.

Johnson has described his newest offer as “a compromise for both sides,” although the plan was reportedly framed as a “take it or leave it” deal to members of Johnson’s Conservative Party, according to The Associated Press.

{mosads}This framing has left EU officials skeptical that the offer will be accepted.

A senior EU official told Reuters that “if it’s take it or leave it, we better close the book and start talking about the modalities of an extension.”

One of the many talking points that seem to be causing contention is the supposed “backstop,” an insurance policy first put in place by Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May.

The “backstop” ensures that a hard border between the U.K. province of Northern Ireland and Ireland, an EU member, would not be reinstated once the U.K. has successfully left the bloc.

Johnson’s newest strategy would “protect the existing regulatory arrangements for farmers and other businesses on both sides of the border,” but Northern Ireland would leave the EU with the rest of the U.K.

There are several possibilities that could now happen.

The EU could accept Johnson’s newest offer and the U.K. would cease being an EU member on Oct. 31. If the EU doesn’t accept the deal, British lawmakers, according to Reuters, have passed a law requiring the country to ask for an extension if a deal isn’t reached by Oct. 19, but it is largely believed that Johnson will try to circumvent this. 

Johnson has repeatedly said that the U.K. will leave the EU on Oct. 31, with or without a deal.

“We are coming out of the EU on Oct. 31, come what may,” Johnson reportedly told fellow Conservative Party members.

The idea of a no-deal Brexit worries many in the U.K. Custom checks between the U.K. and EU would start immediately and the flow of goods coming into Dover, one of the U.K.’s largest ports, could be halved. 

There are worries that a no-deal exit could lead to a recession for the world’s fifth-largest economy, as the EU is the U.K.’s largest trade partner.

Tags Boris Johnson Brexit EU European Union Ireland Northern Ireland Theresa May United Kingdom

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