The shape of the Brexit fix that Boris Johnson wants from the EU’s 27 leaders is now clear.
Here it is:
In place of the dreaded backstop - that insurance policy for keeping open the border on the island of Ireland hated by most Tory Brexiters and Northern Ireland’s DUP - Johnson is suggesting:
a) A unified single market for agriculture between Northern Ireland and the Republic (a single set of what are known are sanitary and phytosanitary rules), so that cross border flows of livestock and food is not hindered;
b) Customs and limited unintrusive goods standards checks on the island but away from the border itself;
c) No customs union with the EU for either the whole UK or NI alone;
d) Where rules for agriculture or even for other limited markets are set for the whole island by Brussels, the principle of a “Stormont lock” - or, in the words of a source, that “the people of Northern Ireland must be able to withdraw consent, with...
The opening session of the epic Supreme Court hearing into whether Boris Johnson misled the queen and broke the law when proroguing parliament did not disappoint.
Because Lord Pannick, for one of the plaintiffs Gina Miller, captured with the clinical precision of a brain surgeon quite what is at stake.
Summing up, he asked the law ladies and lords to consider that if they were to conclude there is no case for the PM to answer, a future PM might well feel licensed to suspend parliament for six months or a year, as and when MPs become bothersome, rather than “just” the five weeks Johnson has chosen to shut down parliament?
What is at stake, Pannick implied, is the role and power of the courts to prevent a PM choosing to become an elected dictator.
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