Telegraph publishes details of government’s proposal to replace the backstop  involving ‘two borders for four years’: Brexit News for Wednesday 2 October

Telegraph publishes details of government’s proposal to replace the backstop  involving ‘two borders for four years’: Brexit News for Wednesday 2 October
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Telegraph publishes details of government’s proposal to replace the backstop  involving ‘two borders for four years’…

Boris Johnson will on Wednesday unveil a radical new ‘two borders for four years’ Brexit plan which will leave Northern Ireland in a special relationship with Europe until 2025, The Telegraph can reveal. The plan, which was briefed to major EU capitals on Tuesday, will accept the need for both a regulatory border between the UK and Northern Ireland in the Irish Sea for four years  – and customs checks between Ulster and the Republic of Ireland. The UK’s proposed replacement for the existing Irish backstop is expected to face fierce opposition from EU leaders who will be asked to grant the UK sweeping exemptions from EU customs rules to facilitate a Northern Irish customs border. The plan effectively means that Northern Ireland will remain in large parts of the EU single market until at least 2025 – but will leave the EU customs union alongside the rest of the UK. – Telegraph (£)

  • Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal: a breakdown by section – Telegraph (£)

…but Irish Deputy PM says the leaked proposals ‘don’t seem like the basis for an agreement’ 

British government Brexit proposals reported by the Telegraph newspaper would not provide the basis for a deal with the European Union and are “concerning,” Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said on Tuesday. The newspaper reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to unveil a plan that would leave Northern Ireland in a special relationship with the European Union for just four years, but take it out of the EU customs union immediately. “We haven’t seen anything. … But if the reports we are reading this evening are true, it doesn’t seem like the basis for agreement, that’s for sure,” Coveney told Ireland’s Virgin Media One television station. – Reuters

Boris Johnson reveals he has just 10 days to crack a Brexit deal with the EU…

Boris Johnson tells The Sun he has just ten days to crack a Brexit deal with the EU — as he unveils his “final offer”. He will send a blueprint for a new agreement to Brussels tomorrow in a pivotal moment for negotiations. Downing Street warned EU chiefs if they do not “engage” with Boris’s new legal text he will end all talks and prepare for No Deal instead. In an exclusive interview on the eve of his first Tory Conference speech as leader, Boris revealed the tight ten-day timetable he faces. He must broker a deal by October 11 — the day the agenda will be set for the crunch EU summit starting on October 17. – The Sun

…and warns of growing payments to the EU as he outlines his Brexit vision…

Boris Johnson took to the airwaves at the beginning of day three of the Conservative Party conference to set out the Government’s positions on Brexit, borders, and buses.”There’s no point in Brexit if you stay locked in the customs union and locked in the single market with no say in those institutions and rule making, and that was basically what the existing Withdrawal Agreement committed this country to doing. We also want a change to the political declaration which sets out the future shape of the relationship between the UK and the EU.” – Telegraph (£)

…as he prepares to address the Tory Conference this morning

Boris Johnson will set out details of his “final” negotiating offer to the EU on Wednesday in pursuit of a “fair and reasonable” Brexit compromise. The prime minister will address the Tory conference before submitting new proposals, intended to form the legal text of a new Brexit deal, to Brussels. Only by leaving the EU on 31 October can the UK “move on”, he will argue. The public will no longer be “taken for fools” by those who want to delay or block the process, he will claim. On the eve of his speech, Mr Johnson told a conference fringe meeting in Manchester, hosted by the DUP, that he hoped to reach a deal with the EU over the course of “the next few days”. – BBC News

PM disputes reported aspects of proposed Irish customs clearance plan…

Customs checks on goods crossing the Irish border must take place somewhere, Boris Johnson said this morning, but denied overnight reports that the UK is proposing a line of checkpoints just miles from the border. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program from the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Johnson said reports about the content of the UK proposal were “not quite right” and specifically denied the claim of a string of customs posts a short distance from the frontier. However, he said there was a “natural limit to the ability of a sovereign state to compromise on things like the customs territory” and agreed that customs checks on the island of Ireland would have to occur somewhere. “That’s just the reality,” he said. – Politico

> LISTEN: Boris Johnson’s Today programme interview

…the leak of which the DUP’s Nigel Dodds claims is an ‘act of sabotage’

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has claimed that a British proposal to create customs posts along the border was leaked by someone trying to sabotage the current negotiations. He told the Belfast Telegraph last night that he hadn’t seen the paper, which was out of date, and he suspected it was released by a Brussels source seeking to harm ongoing talks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday denied that the leaked plan to break the Brexit deadlock was the “actual” version he would imminently propose to the EU. “We don’t want to see new border posts just away from the border,” he said. “There may be some confusion about that.” – Belfast Telegraph

Tory chairman James Cleverly suggests there will be riots on the streets if Remainers block Brexit

Tory chief James Cleverly claims there will be riots on the streets if Remainers block Brexit. Mr Cleverly made reference to the violence that erupted in London in 2011 and said: “I never want to go through something like that again.” The Tory party chairman, and Braintree MP, was asked at a Politico event if he feared that there could be a repeat of the violence eight years ago if we fail to leave the EU, he said: “I do”. Mr Cleverly’s comments come after Remainer MP Dominic Grieve accused the Government of “talking up” the threat of to justify invoking emergency powers to ensure Brexit. Grieve – one of 21 Tory MPs sacked by Boris Johnson for trying to block No Deal Brexit – was responding to remarks by a senior Johnson ally in The Times. – The Sun

UK democracy at a low point, Bishop of London tells judges

British democracy is at one of its “low points” and the government’s justice policy is letting “prisons proliferate”, the bishop of London has said at the formal opening of the legal year. Delivering the sermon in Westminster Abbey on Tuesday, the Rt Rev Dame Sarah Mullally referred to the “chaos and confusion” of the Brexit crisis and praised Magna Carta for holding the king – and by implication the executive – to account. The annual ceremony for the start of the legal year was held a week after the supreme court handed down its unanimous 11-strong judgment that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament for five weeks at the height of the Brexit crisis was unlawful. – Guardian

Tom Harris: Boris Johnson thinks he has the perfect formula to persuade Left-wing Leavers to abandon Labour

Since before Boris Johnson became prime minister in July, the Labour Party and sympathetic journalists have been warning about the extremism about to be unleashed by this new Government. This is standard fare in UK politics. The other side must always be presented as the most extreme iteration of their party thus far (that Corbyn’s Labour is exactly that is merely confirmation of the occasional accuracy of a broken clock). Where such a charge of extremism doesn’t stick – as was the case with John Major in 1992 and 1997 – the attack changes to one on a prime minister’s ineffectiveness and inability to take decisions. But the reason the extremist allegation is preferred is because it seeks to narrow the options of the opposition to steer its tanks onto your own ground. – Tom Harris for the Telegraph (£) 

Jeremy Shapiro: The questions MEPs should ask the new EU Commission

Let’s face it, the confirmation hearings for the new European Commission are not exactly must-see TV. They mostly consist of monotone parliamentarians asking incomprehensible questions and risk-averse nominees responding with a potently boring mix of obfuscation and deflection. Meanwhile, the audience at home wishes it was Eurovision season. The lack of spectacle, however, conceals how much is at stake. In the five years since the last such hearings, the world has become a dramatically more difficult and competitive place. Internally, the EU must struggle with the challenge of Brexit and a multitude of other threats to its internal cohesion. As ECFR surveys reveal, most European voters now believe the EU could collapse in the next 10 to 20 years. – Jeremy Shapiro for CapX

Philip Johnston: Reason sleeps, anger stalks the land – but Brussels can end this purgatory

The weather here in Manchester these past few days has been as miserable as the national mood and there is just one question on everyone’s lips. Whether it be a Government minister, an MP who has fled the shenanigans at Westminster, a Conservative constituency representative enjoying an annual conference outing, a lobbyist promoting a pet cause or a journalist looking for a scoop, the question is this: what is going to happen? It is asked at parties, during chance encounters, over a cup of coffee or afternoon tea, by old friends and casual acquaintances. And the only honest answer is: I haven’t the faintest idea. – Philip Johnston for the Telegraph (£)

John Redwood: So what is Parliament doing now?

Parliament needs to ask itself some simple questions about how it wishes to handle the next few weeks. Will it now do what it can to facilitate Brexit, to fulfil promises made by all Labour and Conservative MPs in 2017, or will it continuer to do all in its power to stop it? Will it continue to undermine the Prime Minister’s efforts to negotiate a better Agreement with the EU, or will it at the last moment recognise that the loyal opposition should reinforce the government’s requests for a better outcome to EU talks in our and their mutual interest? Do MPs seriously think Parliament should try to enforce a requirement on the Prime Minister to act against his judgement to break his promises over Brexit? – John Redwood’s Diary 

James Dowling: Boris Johnson needs to shift from his failing Brexit plan to avoid catastrophe

At Conservative Conference in Manchester, the mood feels upbeat and optimistic. Boris Johnson is clearly popular with the party. When he speaks tomorrow, he will likely be warmly received – whatever he says. He is, however, a man on the precipice of a strategic dilemma which threatens his premiership and our prosperity as a country. On the one hand, he could stick with the divisive, confrontational approach being pushed by the Vote Leave Team. On the other, he could capitalise on the hard Left’s regressive and highly damaging agenda and take a more traditional, centrist campaign. If he is sensible, he will use his speech tomorrow to choose the latter course. – James Dowling for the Telegraph (£)

The Sun: If Britain’s not out of the EU on October 31, the blame will lie with Labour, the Lib Dems and ex-Tory rebels

On past form, whatever new deal Boris Johnson unveils will be howled down by Ireland, Brussels and a Remain-friendly media determined to destroy him. It could be the perfect, mutually beneficial Brexit agreement — with verified cures for cancer and the common cold thrown in — and it wouldn’t be enough. Ireland has no interest in making anything work. They still think their intransigence leads not to No Deal but to a second referendum. Like many myopic Remainers, they care little for what that would do to our social cohesion. They also seem to believe that, despite Brexit, nothing must change for them. That’s delusional. Britain voted for change. It will affect them. – The Sun says

Brexit in Brief

  • Why is the EU obsessed with forcing regulatory alignment on Britain? – Charles Day for The Spectator
  • Greggs to stockpile bacon and tuna to avert Brexit shortages – Guardian
  • Man in his 40s is first diagnosed with ‘Brexit psychosis’ – Telegraph (£)