Boris Could Agree Reheated Version of May’s Deal, Showdown with ‘Spartans’ Looms

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Mounting that evidence that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is willing to sign up to Theresa May’s withdrawal treaty with the European Union minus its contentious “backstop” may lead to a showdown with Tory Brexiteers on his backbenches.

The former prime minister’s thrice-rejected Withdrawal Agreement with the EU is not a final deal, but merely secures a so-called “transition” period of around two years — able to be extended — in which the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in name but retains all aspects of full membership, minus representation in EU institutions. 

This period is supposed to be used to negotiate a final relationship, with an indefinite “backstop” incorporating the British province of Northern Ireland into the EU’s Customs Union and Single Market and mainland Great Britain into an EU-controlled “single customs territory” if this cannot be achieved.

  

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