Boris Johnson has said he has just 10 days left to reach a Brexit deal after sending the EU his ‘final’ offer.
The Prime Minister will send his proposal to Brussels tomorrow, recommending a ‘special relationship’ between Northern Ireland and the EU until 2025, reports say.
No 10 plans to halt negotiations and ramp up no-deal Brexit preparations if EU leaders refuse to consider the Government’s latest offer, it is claimed.
Mr Johnson is reportedly now facing a tight 10-day timetable in which he has to reach an agreement with the EU.
He has to reach deal with the EU by October 11, when the agenda for an EU summit on October 17 will be set.
The Prime Minister told The Sun : “Ten days should be enough.
“If there’s a deal to be done, it could be done in that time. Genuinely. If there isn’t, then we’ll know. That’s the truth.
“It’s new deal or no deal, because we must come out.”
The new offer proposes replacing the Irish backstop with a system of customs checks away from the border.
Mr Johnson told The Sun he was open to negotiating with the EU on his plan.
However, some have cast doubt on the latest offer, arguing it is a ploy to secure a no-deal Brexit.
Last night, Jonathan Powell, the chief aide to Tony Blair from 1997 to 2007, told BBC Newsnight: “It’s imposing a hard border in Northern Ireland… it’s not therefore going to be acceptable to the EU… it is not a serious proposal.
“Presumably what they are doing is simply trying to avoid a deal to get to no-deal as people always assumed they were going to do.”
Away from Brexit, Mr Johnson told The Sun that tax cuts could be expected in his upcoming budget.