Boris Johnson to deliver speech at party conference, prepares to deliver new Brexit proposal

Boris Johnson will deliver the keynote address today at the close of the Conservative Party conference. The speech will be

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Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty

Boris Johnson will deliver the keynote address today at the close of the Conservative Party conference.

The speech will be overshadowed by leaked informal Brexit proposals given to EU negotiators by Boris Johnson’s government. The primary feature of the documents are the government’s plans vis-à-vis the Irish border question.

Johnson has rejected the ‘backstop’—a measure that would keep Northern Ireland tied to EU customs laws to prevent the implementation of a hard border—as it was negotiated by the May government. To avoid a physical border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the leaked plans suggest the implementation of check zones five to ten miles from the border on either side. Johnson has said he will release a formal proposal “fairly shortly.”

Ireland has already called this informal proposal a “non-starter,” making the EU unlikely to even entertain it. As such, it seems the two sides are far from reaching a deal before the Brexit deadline at the end of this month. Per Parliament, Johnson must request an extension if a deal is not reached, which appears increasingly likely. Should Brussels grant another postponement, a new parliamentary election will probably be held.

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