New York, Sep 23: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday do not expect any breakthrough in Brexit deal at dialogues with the European Union (EU) leaders on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York, saying differences remain the same but progress over striking a deal had been made.
The hopes of Brexit breakthrough were stoked when Johnson last week said inking a final agreement on Brexit with the EU leaders were emerging and European Commission President Junker stated a deal was possible. However, both the sides are at a deadlock over Johnson’s desire to remove Irish Backstop border deal from the divorce deal.
“I would caution you all not to think that this is going to be the moment,” Johnson told reporters when emplaned to New York to attend the 74th UNGA session. “I don’t wish to elevate excessively the belief that there will be a New York breakthrough,” he added.
After over three years of Brexit impasse, the UK is finally heading towards a final confrontation with the bloc as Johnson has pledged to withdraw Britain from the EU scheduled on October 31 with or without any deal, unless it green flags to renegotiate the divorce arrangements.
The EU and its leaders have reiterated refusal to relaunch the Withdrawal Agreement which includes the official procedure on the Irish border ‘backstop’ that was agreed by ex-Prime Minister Theresa May in November.
The EU seeks to ensure its only land border along with the UK doesn’t become a “back door” for items to enter the bloc’s single market – which promises free supplies of capital, labour, goods, and services, after Brexit.
And the UK doesn’t want any border – virtual or effective, between Northern Ireland and Britain. Northern Irish unionists have propped up the government of Johnson.
The backstop – a compromising deal – would keep the UK in a customs union with the bloc until a solution is reached, and keep Northern Ireland in line with the EU’s single market rules.
Johnson said the better solution was a vow to keep arrangements very far as much possible before the transition period ends and that it could be agreed as a part of the agreements over the UK’s future ties with the EU.
Under this recent text of the “Withdrawal Agreement”, the Irish backstop would be raised at the transition period’s end in 2020, establishing a single UK-EU customs territory, also including “level playing field” laws to ensure fair competition in sectors such as labor standards, environment, and state aid.