A person with knowledge of the plan told the FT that Boris Johnson had signed last October to avoid a return to hard border in the area, a person with knowledge of the plan said.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said in a statement on Twitter that a move described in the FT would be a very goofy way to move forward “on Brexit”.
The UK government did not dispute the FT story, although the UK’s environment secretary, George Eustais, suggested in an interview on Sky News that the story “may contain exaggerated things.” He stated that “the Northern Ireland Protocol is agreed” and “part of the withdrawal agreement.”
A government spokesperson described the proposed legislation as a collapse. The spokesman said: “We are working hard to resolve outstanding issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol through the Joint Committee and will continue these discussions in good faith. As a responsible government, we fall into this event We are considering alternatives to this, it has not been achieved. To ensure that the communities in Northern Ireland are safe. ”
Two Downing Street sources familiar with the government’s Brexit plans told CNN that they did not recognize large parts of the FT report. However, on the same day news came that Johnson warned that if a deal between London and Brussels was not reached by 15 October, the EU leaders would walk away from negotiations if EU leaders were to meet to discuss Brexit. “There is no point in thinking about moving beyond that time,” Johnson said in a statement. “If we can’t agree by then, I don’t see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept and move forward.”
There have been signs of tension in the negotiation process in recent weeks. Brussels fears that Britain is trying to strike an agreement on those terms, which means it will not withdraw agreements reached with the European Union. Britain feels the state of Brussels is seeking aid and fishing that are beyond those agreed upon last year and the European Union is refusing to believe that Britain is now an independent country.
Against that backdrop, it is no surprise that the European Union plans to weaken the 2019 withdrawal agreement. The EU diplomat said, “It is interesting that there has been leaks in the Financial Times, which has an international audience.”
While hardline rhetoric from Downing Street may concern officials in Brussels, some in London believe Johnson is laying the ground for a major concession this autumn to secure the Brexit deal. Several hardline Brexiters told CNN last week that the best approach would be to re-create parts of the withdrawal agreement through the current deadlock.
Whatever the true intent of the UK government, the latest developments have set the veins on the sidelines in Brussels as the Brexit saga approaches its final chapter.