- Boris Johnson reportedly wants Ireland to agree to temporarily leave it’s trading partnership with the EU and join with the UK instead.
- The plan is one of the "creative solutions" Johnson plans to raise with EU leaders this week.
- Ireland described the proposal as "worrying" and dismissed any suggestion that the country would align with the UK.
- Johnson is due to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday evening.
- Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.
Boris Johnson reportedly wants Ireland to agree to temporarily leave it’s trading union with the EU and join with the UK instead after Brexit.
The Sun newspaper reports that Downing Street is considering asking Ireland to voluntarily diverge from EU rules in order to prevent a hard border between the two countries after Britain leaves the EU.
Under the plan Ireland would gain a "special dispensation" from Brussels to leave their trading rules until new "alternative arrangements" to the Northern Ireland backstop are established.
A senior minister in Johnson’s government told The Sun: "The solution is a bilateral agreement to agree a common rule book for Britain and Ireland for as long we need one."
They added that "Ideally though, the EU would formally propose it rather than us [so] it is more acceptable to the Irish."
Ireland described the proposal as "worrying."
"This is an EU-UK matter, we are the EU, there is no scope for a bilateral agreement," Fine Gael’s Brexit spokesperson Neale Richmond tweeted, adding that the proposal was a "worrying pivot," by the UK government.
The idea is supposedly one of the "creative solutions" Johnson is planning to raise with EU leaders this week.
"There are plenty of other creative solutions [to the border issue]" Johnson told ITV news on Tuesday.
"I’m going to go and see if I can explore those ideas with our friends in Germany and France, and at the G7. Let’s see where we get to.
The prime minister is due to meet for dinner with German Chancellor Angel Merkel this evening before having lunch with the French President Emmanual Macron on Thursday.
Johnson’s proposal comes after he wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk this week to insist that the Northern Ireland backstop must be removed from the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
Tusk dismissed the idea and accused Johnson of secretly wanting to trigger a new hard border with Ireland.
- Boris Johnson urged to release secret official Brexit memo warning ministers about riots, soaring food prices and a deep recession
- A Trump trade deal with the UK has ‘no chance’ of passing if Brexit disrupts the Irish border, warns Nancy Pelosi
- Speaker Bercow will ‘fight with every bone in my body’ to stop Boris Johnson from forcing through a no-deal Brexit