Boris Johnson says deal is possible (BBC)

  • As Parliament is suspended for five weeks until 14 October, Boris Johnson has said “there is a way” of agreeing a new Brexit deal.
  • The Irish backstop remains a key barrier to an agreement. The prime minister held talks with Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster and her deputy Nigel Dodds, whose party has supported the Conservative government since the 2017 election.
  • The DUP said it would not support any revised version of Theresa May’s Brexit agreement which separates Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, for example in the form of a so-called Northern Ireland-only backstop, which would be “unacceptable” to the DUP, and would require Northern Ireland to remain in the customs union (and accordingly remain bound by EU rules for goods and animal products while the rest of the UK was not).

Brussels senses Johnson shift on Northern Ireland-only backstop (FT)

  • Having suffered defeats in the House of Commons in relation to the passing of a law to force an extension on Brexit as well as in respect of the snap election, some EU diplomats believe Mr Johnson’s stance on the Irish border has softened. On Tuesday, Downing Street announced the “priority” now was to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
  • Theresa May rejected the idea of a Northern-Ireland only backstop, as it would have created checks on trade between the Irish Trade and mainland Britain. The idea has now been revived and the Prime Minister is increasingly under pressure to abandon his party’s alliance with the DUP, which remains strongly opposed to such an arrangement.
  • If the PM does abandon his party’s alliance with the DUP, he would need to win the support of Labour MPs to push a deal through Parliament.
  • Mr Johnson has also raised the possibility of an all-Ireland agrifood zone as an alternative to the backstop arrangement.  
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Jessica's practice focuses on international trade and anti-bribery work, encompassing customs, export control and sanctions matters. Jessica's trade work includes advising international clients on fast-moving and evolving EU and UN sanctions, notably in respect of Iran and Russia, and on compliance with UK and EU export controls. Her trade experience also includes advising on tariff classification and customs valuations. Jessica's anti-bribery experience includes assisting with investigations, and advising clients on compliance with anti-bribery laws. Jessica has also taken a lead role in monitoring Brexit-related developments; analysing how they will affect the UK's trading position generally, and clients' businesses specifically. She has helped clients begin to conduct risk assessments of how Brexit will impact their businesses, and has assisted them in developing tailored Brexit strategies. Jessica also presents at various seminars, webinars, and conferences on the complexities of Brexit. Jessica advises global clients on complex issues arising from international transactions and works with clients across a number of sectors including pharmaceuticals, defence, finance, aviation, energy, and telecommunications. Jessica has also worked previously in Paris, and is fluent in French.

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