Brexit trade deal depends on UK ‘level playing field’ commitments, Hogan says – MLex
• The depth of any UK-EU trade deal after Brexit will depend on the extent to which the UK commits to a “level playing field” in areas such as state aid and labour rights, the likely next EU trade commissioner has said.
• At a hearing this evening with EU lawmakers to discuss his nomination, Ireland’s Phil Hogan said it was “very hard to know what direction” the UK is taking due to domestic political turmoil.
• Hogan was echoing comments made in recent weeks by EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, who has underlined the importance of the UK aligning with EU rules in key areas such as competition if it wants to have a close relationship with the rest of the bloc in future.
Boris Johnson: there will need to be Irish customs checks after Brexit – BBC
• Boris Johnson says the “reality” of Brexit is there will need to be customs checks on the island of Ireland after the UK leaves the EU. • But the PM rejected claims that would effectively mean a hard border, in the form of a series of customs posts set five or 10 miles back.
• He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “A sovereign united country must have a single customs territory.”
• He did not give details, but said formal proposals would be made soon.
Boris Johnson says customs checks inside Irish Republic a ‘reality’ – FT
• The UK is expected to submit its formal proposals for a Brexit deal to Brussels after the prime minister closes the Conservative party conference in Manchester on Wednesday.
• Mr Johnson rejected reports from the Irish broadcaster RTÉ that he was proposing a “string of customs posts perhaps five to 10 miles” away from the frontier and that the island would see the return of a hard border.
• “That’s not what we’re proposing at all,” Mr Johnson told the BBC’s Today programme on Tuesday.
• “There are very good reasons why that would not be a good idea and I think everybody who is familiar with the situation in Northern Ireland wouldn’t want both for practical and for reasons of sentiment that we totally, totally understand.”