Brexit Briefing – Brexit Blueprint
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The UK government have now submitted their proposals to the EU in respect of the Ireland backstop issue. The proposal sets out the creation of an all-island regulatory zone on the island of Ireland. This would effectively remove the need for regulatory checks between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland would align with the EU’s single market rules. However, Northern Ireland would be part of the UK customs zone and therefore a customs border would be required between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The proposal confirms that custom checks would take place electronically but some physical checks would be conducted.
Response to the proposal have been mixed. The European Commission are not in agreement with the proposal and consider that problems remain. The Republic of Ireland voiced significant concerns about the proposal, describing it as the worst of all worlds. With the right to a veto to these arrangements, it is no surprise that the DUP have endorsed the proposal as a serious and sensible way forward.
Mr Johnson has precious few days to negotiate a deal with the EU if he wishes to stick to an exit day of 31 October 2019. The European Council is due to meet on 17-18 October 2019. Mr Johnson’s letter has urged a deal to be made before this date. Jean-Claude Junker, president of the EU, confirms the EU is ready to work 24/7 to make a deal happen.
Mr Johnson has announced that he will be requesting Parliament is prorogued between 8-14 October. This will allow him to arrange logistical and security preparations for the Queens speech on 14 October 2019.
If no deal can be agreed, and approved by Parliament, before 19 October 2019 then under the terms of the “Benn” Act, Mr Johnson will be required to write to the EU and request an extension of Article 50 to 31 January 2020. Fearing that the government will thwart the legislation, campaigners in Scotland have put in a legal bid to force the government into complying with the law.
Whilst the Benn Act was put in place to avoid a no-deal scenario, Deutsch Bank have reported that they still see a 50% chance of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. However, they have estimated a 20% chance of an agreement later this month.
In Other News
The first diagnosis of Brexit triggered psychosis has been reported by doctors. The report, published by the BMJ, states “political events can act as major psychological stressors”.
The NHS is stockpiling up to 2 months’ worth of products in readiness for the “worst case scenario” in case the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
Greggs are also stockpiling ingredients and equipment that they believe would be affected by a disruption of the supply of goods.
The CBI have reported that business activity in banks has fallen at its fastest pace in 28 years. The threat of a no-deal scenario is being blamed as the caused.
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