Boris Johnson lays out his 'game changing' Brexit plan

sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more

Created with Sketch.

Boris Johnson urged Brussels to 'compromise' today as he heralded his 'game changing' Brexit plan to avoid a hard Irish border - but immediately saw it dismissed by the EU.

The Prime Minister said he is fighting hard to get an agreement with Brussels and the sides were facing the 'critical moment of choice', as details of the blueprint started emerging.

But he insisted that the UK must leave with No Deal on October 31 if a settlement proves impossible - warning the EU would be making a 'mistake' if it tries to keep the country 'bound'.

'This is the moment when the rubber hits the road,' Mr Johnson told BBC Breakfast. 'We do have a solution.'  

The new plan appears to involve Northern Ireland following some EU regulations - but staying in the UK's customs jurisdiction. 

To avoid infrastructure at the border checks would take place some distance away, and technology would be deployed to minimise friction.

Mr Johnson said this morning that the UK government had 'moved a long way', and was accepting that the 'people in Northern Ireland may by British but the cattle are Irish'. 

However, similar proposals have been dismissed by the EU before, and Irish deputy PM Simon Coveney roundly rejected them overnight as a 'non-starter'. 

Mr Johnson today played down the idea that there would be 'customs clearance centres', and said the EU was responding to previous ideas put forward. 

'That's not what we are proposing at all,' he said. 

The premier said the core issue was how far Northern Ireland stayed within the EU's rules after Brexit, arguing the UK had already made 'significant concessions' by agreeing that the province would follow the bloc's agricultural and food regulations. 

Shrugging off the wall of rejection from the EU, Mr Johnson said: 'They are not talking about the proposals we are going to be tabling, they are talking about stuff that went in previously.

'But clearly this is the moment when the rubber hits the road. This is when the hard yards really are in the course of the negotiations.

'The difficulty really is going to be around the customs union and to what extent Northern Ireland can be retained within EU bodies at all.

'We're going to make a very good offer, we are going to be tabling it very soon, but there is a difficulty if you try to keep Northern Ireland in a customs union because one of the basic things about being a country is you have a single customs perimeter and a single customs union.'

But Mr Coveney responded overnight: 'Non-Paper = Non-Starter. Time the EU had a serious proposal from the UK Govt if a #Brexit deal is to be achievable in October. NI and IRE deserves better!'   

As part of any new agreement, Mr Johnson is expected to ask the other 27 EU member states to turn down another delay to the UK's withdrawal.

He wants to force Parliament into a binary decision, either to accept his new deal or allow Britain to crash out with No Deal on October 31.

But in a thinly-veiled threat to the EU that the UK will make trouble if it does not leave, he said: 'I think it would be a mistake to keep the UK bound in beyond the time people want to come out.' 

Boris Johnson (pictured in Manchester today) is preparing to send his final Brexit proposals to the EU in the coming days 

Mr Johnson insisted that the UK must leave with No Deal on October 31 if a settlement proves impossible - warning the EU would be making a 'mistake' if it tries to keep the country 'bound'

Mr Johnson insisted that the UK must leave with No Deal on October 31 if a settlement proves impossible - warning the EU would be making a 'mistake' if it tries to keep the country 'bound'

But Mr Johnson insisted he had not yet asked the EU to block a delay.

'My own view is that they want to get this done as much as we do and indeed the majority of the British public do, whether they voted for leave or remain,' he said. 

In a reference to the Vote Leave claim that Brexit would free up £350million a week for the NHS, Mr Johnson said if the UK stays in a future campaign would 'need a bigger bus' as conttributions to Brussels will rise.

How would the PM's new Brexit plan work? 

Boris Johnson refused to be drawn on the fine details of his 'game changing' Brexit plan today.

But the shape of the package, which will be formally unveiled to the EU within days, is becoming clear. 

According to leaks in Ireland, the new blueprint involves Northern Ireland following some EU regulations for food and agriculture - but staying in the UK's customs jurisdiction. 

To avoid infrastructure at the border checks would take place some distance away, and technology would be deployed to minimise friction.

GPS could be used to track goods to address European concerns that the border could become a 'back door' for smugglers. 

Boris Johnson said this morning that the UK government had 'moved a long way', and was accepting that the 'people in Northern Ireland may by British but the cattle are Irish'. 

He played down the idea that there would be 'customs clearance centres', and said the EU was responding to previous ideas put forward. 

Mr Johnson said it would not be democratic for Northern Ireland to be subject to a tax system that it had no say over.  

However, it is far from clear any of this will be palatable for the EU or Ireland. 

Irish deputy PM Simon Coveney roundly rejected them overnight as a 'non-starter'. 

'The figure would go up,' he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. 'It would be nearer £400million.' 

Mr Johnson also shrugged off 'shot and shell' criticism about his conduct, including allegations that he grabbed the thigh of journalist Charlotte Edwardes during a dinner in 1999, when he was editor of the Spectator magazine.  

'I've said what I have said about that. They are not true,' Mr Johnson insisted.

'It is very sad someone should make such allegations…

'I don't want to minimise the significance of such allegations if they were true. But in this case…. '

The PM is expected to spend much of the day making calls to European capitals before delivering a formal text of his terms after his speech at the Tory party conference tomorrow.

If he manages to strike an agreement and get it through Parliament, Mr Johnson will have cancelled out the Benn act - his hated 'Surrender Bill' - which was drawn up to prevent No Deal exit.  

Those behind the law, including Tory rebels Sir Oliver Letwin and Dominic Grieve, have conceded they cannot force the EU members into granting another delay. 

But the Prime Minister's bold strategy faces brutal hurdles in Brussels amid fears Michel Barnier will immediately try to torpedo his legal text.  

The Republic of Ireland is wavering on an agreement as ministers prepare to go toe-to-toe with the EU.

If, however, the Prime Minister looks like he will succeed there is likely to be clamouring from Remain MPs for the attention of Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. 

Ministers are understood to have warned Mr Johnson that he will have to seek an Article 50 extension unless he get a new deal. 

'The only way No Deal happens now is if the EU turns down an extension,' one Cabinet minister told MailOnline. 

Senior government sources believe much will hang on whether Merkel 'comes out fighting' for a compromise deal. 

France, which expressed doubts over the last delay, was reportedly counselled by those behind the Benn act over its position (pictured: Emmanuel Macron at a service for Jacques Chirac in Paris on Sunday)

France, which expressed doubts over the last delay, was reportedly counselled by those behind the Benn act over its position (pictured: Emmanuel Macron at a service for Jacques Chirac in Paris on Sunday)

'They are not budging yet,' one source said.   

Pressure is mounting ahead of a crunch EU summit on October 17, when Mr Johnson will make one final big play for a deal.

If some sort of package can be thrashed out it will then be rushed through Parliament before the premier's 'do or die' deadline of October 31 - with both Houses likely to sit through the night.

Ministers say Labour MPs will be warned that

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV UPDATE 1-UK midcaps start fourth quarter with gains; hopes for Brexit deal grow
NEXT SEC fines blockchain company Block.one $24 million over coin offering