British government publishes Brexit proposals - including plans for Irish backstop

British government publishes Brexit proposals - including plans for Irish backstop

THE British government has published its proposal to the EU to carry out Brexit on October 31, including plans to replace the Irish backstop.

The broad plans would see Northern Ireland essential stay in the single market for goods, but leave the EU customs union, as reported by the BBC.

However, this arrangement would have to approved by The Stormont Assembly before it can be put in place, and a vote on whether or not to keep those arrangement will be held every four year.

The proposals also outline the creation of an 'all-island regulatory zone', which would mean Northern Ireland would have to follow EU rules for goods.

What this means is that there will be checks on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, but the UK would not apply further checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Ireland - effectively forming a hard-border in the Irish Sea.

However, Northern Ireland would leave the EU customs union with the rest of the UK, so there would have to be new customs checks between North and South.

Those checks would look at customs documents and the payment of tariffs, which allow goods to cross the border in the first place.

The proposals stress that the vast majority of checks will be carried out electronically, but that a small number of physical checks would have to take place, either at business premises or at points on the supply chain.

Speaking before he saw the plan, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told the Irish Parliament: "What we are hearing is not encouraging and would not be the basis for agreement."

Varadker also added that, despite wanting a deal, he would not agree to one "at any cost" and Ireland was "ready for no-deal if that's what the British decide to do".

Boris Johnson and the UK government now wait to see how Brussels will respond.