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This is Johnson's 'final' Brexit offer for Ireland

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on October 2, 2019 - Duration: 01:57s

This is Johnson's 'final' Brexit offer for Ireland

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday made a final Brexit offer to the European Union, including his plans for the Irish border, but most other details are scarce.

Matthew Larotonda reports.

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This is Johnson's 'final' Brexit offer for Ireland

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "If parliament were a reality TV show then the whole lot of us, I'm afraid, would have been voted out of the jungle by now.

We'd have had the consolation of watching the speaker being forced to eat a kangaroo testicle." That was British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday (October 2) at his Conservative Party's annual conference: with a colorful assessment of the country's Brexit situation.

And hours later, his government finally revealed what it proposes to do about the Irish border -- long a sticking point for the EU divorce.

In a public letter to EU leadership the prime minister calls for a regulatory zone to span the entire island, both Northern Ireland and the Republic, which will govern all trade goods.

To avoid border checks, he says a declaration system would be introduced for small business traders, along with a trusted traders program to speed up the process.

It's part of a wider deal submitted to Brussels but -- besides the Irish bit -- public details are scarce.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "Today in Brussels we are tabling what I believe are constructive and reasonable proposals which provide a compromise for both sides." Johnson's border plans -- if approved by the EU and British parliament -- would replace the so-called backstop proposals which played a role in sinking his predecessor, Theresa May's government.

It's bound for a skeptical reception in Brussels, though.

A leaked draft of the proposal reported by British media this week didn't go over well with EU officials.

Johnson has vowed to bring the UK out of the EU, deal or no deal, by October 31st.

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