Another Brexit plan has been announced – and shot down in the same day

Boris Johnson: he’s still doing the Hokey-Cokey (“In, out, in, out, shake it all about”) during Brexit negotiations.

Brexit buffs – celebrate! Your favourite time has happened again! The Tories have leaked another plan for a withdrawal agreement!

And it’s another stinker!

Your favourite!

You could probably tell how this one was going to go when the Tories put it out officially and The Guardian headlined its article Dismay in Brussels as Boris Johnson finally reveals Brexit plan.

The copy states:

Despite concerted attempts to avoid publicly trashing the UK proposals, there was dismay behind-the-scenes in Brussels after Johnson tabled his first concrete proposal for replacing the Irish backstop.

Johnson’s plan involves Northern Ireland leaving the EU’s customs union at the end of transition, together with the rest of the UK, necessitating checks and controls on the island of Ireland.

Northern Ireland would also stay aligned with EU standards on goods if Stormont agreed by December 2020, the end of the transition period, and then in a vote every four years.

But the UK has also requested that both sides commit at treaty level “never to conduct checks at the border” even if Stormont vetoes the arrangements laid out in the new 44 page Irish protocol.

Barnier said that this commitment would prevent Brussels from protecting its internal market if the Northern Ireland assembly blocked the arrangement in 2020 or at a later date.

“The EU would then be trapped with no backstop to preserve the single market after Brexit,” he warned.

EU sources said that such were the flaws in the UK’s proposals that there appeared scant chance of agreement by a crunch EU summit on 17 October. “Unfortunately we are heading for an extension,” said one diplomatic source.

The proposal – if that’s what you want to call it – was trumpeted by Tory press release copyist Laura Kuenssberg – and trashed pretty much immediately:

Tory mouthpiece Newsnight put forward a positive spin from Brian Blessed impersonator Geoffrey Cox…

You’ll have noticed that, referring to a deal, he said everybody in the Conservative government wants to “do one”.

It turns out a few people, both in the UK and in the EU want the Tories to “do one” as well…

Still, every cloud has a silver lining. Labour has been absolutely festive about this:

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “Any responsible prime minister would have spent the past three months trying to build a consensus in parliament and across the European Union in order to break the deadlock.

“However, Boris Johnson has neither the intention nor ability to negotiate a deal or protect jobs and communities across the United Kingdom.”

McDonnell added that he thought Johnson’s plans were “a cynical attempt to force through a no-deal Brexit”.

Opposition parties were united in rejecting the prime minister’s proposal for a deal.

So: it’s “no deal” for the October EU summit, meaning Mr Johnson will be legally bound to beg for an extension – which, you’ll notice, the Eurocrats are minded to grant.

But if the Tory plan really is to offer this travesty once and then walk away, what do they have up their sleeves?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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