Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to propose a final effort Brexit deal to EU leaders this week, or accept a “no-deal” exit on the October 31st.
Boris Johnson’s negotiators are pushing for an agreement to be reached by Thursday or Friday of this week during the European Council summit in Brussels. The deal would then be voted on by Parliament on Saturday, the first time Parliament will have been in session on a Saturday since the Falklands War.
An unnamed insider told The Sunday Times: “He’ll be talking to Merkel, Macron and Juncker by the end of Monday to see if there’s agreement on a ‘landing zone’ for Northern Ireland and customs. The message is: ‘Let’s finish this off.’ The alternative is to agree a friendly version of no deal and finish it that way.”
After negotiations had stalled, a sense of optimism was restored when a meeting was held last week between Johnson and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar, at a wedding venue in the Wirral that once hosted Coleen Rooney’s 21st birthday party.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) October 10, 2019
The two leaders emerged from the working lunch proclaiming in a joint statement on Twitter: “They agreed that they could see a pathway to a possible deal.”
Specific details on Johnson’s proposed deal remain secret, and it remains to be seen whether the deal will be accepted or not. Johnson still faces hurdles from EU negotiators as well as MPs from Northern Ireland.
Nigel Dodds, the leader of the DUP in the House of Commons, told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “There is a lot of stuff coming from Brussels, pushed by the Europeans in the last hours, but one thing is sure: Northern Ireland must remain fully part of the UK customs union. And Boris Johnson knows it very well.”