Jeremy Gardner comments on the new Brexit deal announced yesterday.
It’s hard to know whether or not Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal represents anything more likely to pass the House of Commons vote than we have already seen with Theresa May’s previous deal. The landscape in Parliament has certainly changed given that Johnson appears to need to win over the DUP and potentially many of the former Tory MPs who have had the whip removed since the last meaningful vote.
But what is different about the new Brexit deal and is it really new?
There is still a lot which remains from May’s deal including rules around the transition period, UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK retaining the same rights, the divorce bill and the draft text on the future UK/EU relationship. The latter is largely unaltered save for a new paragraph on “levelling the playing field” in which the UK agrees to stick closely to EU regulations in the future.
The biggest new element is of course concerned with Northern Ireland. The new deal sets a Customs border in the Irish Sea, so that any goods passing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be subject to duty and only if the goods are retained in Northern Ireland will the duty be refunded. The biggest issue with this though is the extent to which Northern Ireland has a say in the continuation of the new rules, and this appears to be the major blockage at present to Johnson convincing the DUP to support his new deal.
A new deal in part, but by no means done yet.
Link to BBC article which deatils the new Brexit deal further.