UK PM Boris Johnson to unveil new Brexit plan

PTI

File photo: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

File photo: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will unveil his plan for a new Brexit deal at his Conservative party conference on Wednesday, warning the EU it is that or Britain leaves with no agreement this month.

Downing Street said Johnson would give details of a fair and reasonable compromise in his closing address to the gathering in Manchester, and would table the plans in Brussels the same day.

It stressed this would be a final offer, and that if the European Union does not engage then Johnson would keep to his threat to leave on October 31 with no deal.

The prime minister would in no circumstances ask to delay Brexit at a Brussels summit on October 17 and 18, it said in a statement.

“Let’s get Brexit done — we can, we must and we will,” Johnson will tell delegates.

Johnson has received a rapturous welcome at the first party conference since Conservative members elected him as leader in July with one purpose — to get Britain out of the EU.

Under the slogan “Get Brexit Done”, he and his ministers have repeated over and over that the country will leave the bloc on October 31.

But like his predecessor Theresa May, he has struggled against a hostile parliament and the complexities of untangling four decades of integration with the European Union.

He has pledged to renegotiate the exit terms May agreed with Brussels, which MPs rejected three times.

He is focused on reworking the so-called backstop plan, which aims to keep open the border between British Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

May’s proposal would have kept Britain in an effective customs union with the EU, which critics argued would force London to abide by the bloc’s rules indefinitely.

The EU is likely to push back against the plans, and at a conference event late Tuesday, Johnson acknowledged getting a deal would be tough.

Johnson has used the conference to try to rally his party after a turbulent two months in office — and ahead of a snap election many believe is increasingly likely.

He lost his majority in parliament after 21 of his own Tory MPs rebelled to back an opposition law preventing a “no deal” Brexit.

The Supreme Court also struck down his decision to suspend parliament.

Johnson has responded with defiance, pitching himself as the champion of Brexit in the face of a pro-European establishment.

The party has also made a string of pre-election pledges on hospital funding, police and infrastructure this week.

(PTI)