Thursday 3 October 2019 12:05 pm

Boris Johnson: Brexit offer 'is genuine' attempt to bridge EU gap

Boris Johnson has addressed MPs on his new Brexit offer, calling it a set of “constructive and reasonable proposals”.

The Prime Minister said the plans for the Irish border “do not deliver on everything that we would have wished” but said they represented a compromise that would break the deadlock in parliament.

Read more: MPs to grill Boris Johnson on ‘final offer’ on Brexit

“To remain a prisoner of existing positions is to become a cause of deadlock rather than breakthrough, he said.  “And so we have made a genuine attempt to bridge the chasm, to reconcile the apparently irreconcilable. “

The Prime Minister said that under the proposals, Northern Ireland will be fully part of the UK customs territory not the EU customs union. 

He said there would be no need for checks or any infrastructure at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and that these checks would take place at special centres away from the border.   

“While these proposals will mean changes from the situation that prevails today in Ireland and Northern Ireland   it is their driving purpose to minimise any disruption,” he said.

Opposition MPs have already lined up to attack his proposals for how to solve the Irish border issue.

There is plenty of criticism being levelled at the suggestions in Johnson’s Brexit offer, in particular that they would rely on a rolling four-year approval from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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Critics of the so-called Stormont Lock such as Sinn Fein point to the fact that it would effectively give the DUP a veto, and pointed to the fact that the Assembly has not sat for more than two years.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn last night slammed the offer as “worse than Theresa May’s deal”.