Johnson sets deadline

Outrage over UK plan to over-ride Brexit agreement


Boris Johnson says no deal would still be a positive outcome

UK ministers have prompted renewed outrage over Brexit after it emerged they are are planning new legislation that would override parts of last year’s EU withdrawal agreement.

It would impact on the state aid provision and remove the requirement for new Northern Ireland customs arrangements, which are intended to prevent the return of checks at the border with the Irish Republic.

While Downing Street insisted the proposals are a fallback in the event of trade talks failing, opposition parties took aim at the plans.

Labour claimed the government is playing a “dangerous game”, while the SNP said it was clear that Boris Johnson is leading Britain to a No Deal Brexit.

The Prime Minister is expected to set a 15 October deadline when the European Council next meets, saying: “If we cannot agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us and we should accept that and move on”.

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He will tell his EU counterparts that completing the UK’s exit from the bloc without a trade deal would still be “positive for the UK’.

His comments follow UK chief negotiator David Frost’s claim that the UK “will not blink first” in talks which resume this week.

Britain formally left the EU in January and is now in a transition period until the end of the year with the aim of having a trade agreement in place.

However, the Financial Times reports that plans for the internal market – designed to ensure consistent delivery of services across the UK – will tear up parts of last year’s deal.

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