Johnson: UK ‘will under no circumstances have checks at or near border’

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the UK will “under no circumstances have checks at or near the border in Northern Ireland”.

Speaking at the Conservative Party’s annual conference today, Wednesday, October 2, the prime minister spoke about the proposals the UK is set to put forward to EU officials in Brexit negotiations later in the day.

Addressing attendees, Johnson said: “Today in Brussels we are tabling what I believe are constructive and reasonable proposals which provide a compromise for both sides.

“We will under no circumstances have checks at or near the border in Northern Ireland.

We will respect the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement and, by a process of renewable democratic consent by the executive and assembly of Northern Ireland, we will go further and protect the existing regulatory arrangements for farmers and businesses on both sides of the border.

“At the same time we will allow the UK, whole and entire, to withdraw from the EU with control over our own trade policy from the start.”

The prime minister added that the UK will “protect the precious union” between Britain and Northern Ireland.

He added: “This is a compromise by the UK and I hope our friends understand that and compromise in their turn.

Because if we fail to get an agreement because of what is essentially a technical discussion on the exact nature of future customs checks, when that technology is improving the whole time, then let us be in no doubt of what the alternative is. The alternative is no deal.

The prime minister said that, while the UK does not want that, it is “an outcome for which we are ready”.