Boris Johnson has made new proposals to the EU for Brexit. In a letter to outgoing Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the British Prime Minister campaigned for a "compromise" to replace the so-called backstop in the exit agreement. Instead, Northern Ireland should remain in a customs union with Great Britain. The EU Commission confirmed that it had received Johnson's proposal.
The so-called backstop, which had been agreed by Johnson's predecessor Theresa May, provides that Britain as a whole will remain in a customs union with the EU if no other solution is found. Johnson rejects this because, in his opinion, he would bind Britain permanently to the EU.
In the letter to Juncker, Johnson pointed out that it was "not the goal of the current government" to be closely tied to EU rules on tariffs and product standards. The backstop, which provides for this, is therefore a "bridge to nowhere".
According to Johnson, Johnson says he wants to avoid checks on Irish borders. The European Union's protection of the European single market from products that do not meet EU standards would be in the hands of the Northern Ireland regional parliament. Every four years Parliament should decide whether the British part of the country is guided by European or British standards. At the same time, according to the will of the British Government, the EU should undertake not to carry out checks at the border in any case.
Johnson reiterated his intention to reach an agreement with Brussels to allow his country to leave the EU "orderly" on 31 October. "There is very little time left," wrote the PM. If neither side succeeds in reaching an agreement, "it would be a failure of statecraft for which we are all responsible."
Chancellor Angela Merkel initially did not want to comment on Johnson's proposal. It was important for the 27 remaining EU Member States to stay together, she told a press conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. They trust the EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and will continue to discuss.