There are speculations that the UK would not be able to leave the EU with a deal as scheduled on 31 October 2019.
A source revealed that if the UK wanted a brand new concept on customs for Nothern Ireland, a deal is impossible by the end of October.
Irish “backstop” is considered the obvious barrier. The Irish “backstop” is a draft agreement between the Uk and the European Union of which the aim is to prevent an evident border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. As of October 10, 2019, the Irish “backstop” has not been ratified.
So the ” backstop” is to prevent a hard border by keeping Northern Ireland in some aspect of the single market until an alternative plan is agreed between the UK and EU. It seeks for Uk to have a common customs territory with Eu until a solution is found so as to prevent the need for custom control within the Uk which is Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
Therefore, the “backstop” element is that the arrangement would continue to apply until a solution is agreed, even if there is no trade agreement between UK and EU by the end of the transition period.
Part of the challenge is that those for United Ireland (the Irish government and Northern Irish nationalists) support the protocol, whereas the unionists favouring the existing United Kingdom oppose it.
The EU Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker said on Sunday that it is up to Brits to decide if they will ask for an extension. He further added that if Boris Jonhson were to ask for extra time, he would consider it unhistoric to refuse such a request.
Despite all speculations, Johnson is still hoping to make enough progress at EU Council on Thursday and Friday to be able to have a common vote on his Brexit plans in a Saturday sitting this week.
However, the first independent economic assessment of Johnson’s proposal published on Sunday by the thinktank UK in a changing Europe suggests it would be significantly more damaging than Theresa May’s plans.
According to the analysis, GDP would be between 2.3% and 7% smaller in a decades time than if Britain remained in the EU. This is compared to the range of 1.9% to 5.5% under the May deal.