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Boris Johnson's indifference on Brexit deal raises eyebrows

Boris Johnson
Highlights

Is the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson really interested in seeking a deal on Brexit that would help the country to come out of the arrangement? He is trying sincerely to strike the deal, it is being reported.

Is the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson really interested in seeking a deal on Brexit that would help the country to come out of the arrangement? He is trying sincerely to strike the deal, it is being reported.

Intense talks are on to clinch a Brexit deal, but it is not clear if they would reach an agreement any time soon. One must acknowledge that it is at the last hour that the deal is being getting rushed. The Prime Minister has moved decisively to break the deadlock leading to an optimism in Brussels.

The Johnson plan is said to contain mix of a 'customs partnership' of Theresa May which was decried initially. Whether this change in stance, if true as reported, would endanger Johnson's support base is to be seen. One of the major outstanding issues was agreeing on Britain's application of common EU rules and standards designed to ensure fair competition that are known as the 'level playing field' and if it is done, then it could be construed as constructive by all means.

Johnson is said to have backtracked on his confrontationist stand. The UK Prime Minister is said to have made the key concession that there cannot be 'border across the island of Ireland', a move that finally persuaded the EU that a deal may be possible.

In essence, Johnson has abandoned his previous proposal that there should be a customs border between Northern Ireland (a UK territory) and the Republic of Ireland (a sovereign nation). In exchange, the EU accepted Johnson's red line that Northern Ireland could not remain part of the bloc's customs union and that the region must be able to benefit from any trade deals struck by the UK after Brexit.

No one is sure whether such an arrangement would work because this means that Northern Ireland would be legally part of the UK customs area but in practice would be part of the EU's customs territory.

However, Johnson should be wary of the legal hurdles that the system could face in the UK as some hard-line Tories are working against it. Statistics show that British economy is taking a hit due the Brexit blues.

A 'hard' Brexit makes the country's automotive industry vulnerable, experts have warned. They point to the relocation of at least 14 per cent of the industry including manufacturers, components and services companies.

Enough damage has already been done to the economy. Investments have taken a hit, competitiveness is being undermined, jobs are being cut and vast sums wasted on the impossibility of preparing for a no deal. Hence, investor confidence is also being hit.

Johnson, however, is sustaining the country on lies, it seems, by claiming that the auto industry is ready for a no deal. Jaguar Land Rover which employ 40,000 in the UK has warned that in the event of a no deal, it would prefer relocation.

Some quarters, however, suspect that Johnson may not really be interested in the deal itself for political reasons. He may prefer to play a victim in the next general elections. After all, personal interests have become paramount for the leaders nowadays.

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