News | Published December 10 2019

Johnson’s plan for Brexit “a major strategic, political and operational challenge" according to leaked document

A leaked document indicates prime minister Boris Johnson’s plans to implement Brexit by December next year do not allow sufficient time to provide the infrastructure required for the deadline.

The plan to exit the European Union this time next year is dependent upon Johnson winning this Thursday’s election and gaining the approval of MPs for his plan.

Johnson maintains his plan provides a “great deal” for both Britain and Northern Ireland, and that it would "give the country real momentum".

The prime minister has promised to finalise the UK’s departure from the EU by January 31, 2020, with a trade deal made in the 12 months that follow.

If no deal is made by this point, all transition agreements will come to a close by the end of the year.

An extract from the document, leaked from the Department for Exiting the European Union, reads "Delivery of the required infrastructure, associated systems, and staffing to implement the requirements of the protocol by December 2020 represents a major strategic, political and operational challenge."

The leak follows Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, stating that Johnson promised there would be no checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Foster noted that the introduction of checks is “very concerning for us as it goes to the heart of the act of union.”

With regards to the trustworthiness of the prime minister, Foster stated "It is very important for us in Northern Ireland not just to have the words but the detail. It says more about the person who broke their word."

Rishi Sunak, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, disagreed, stating that he was "incredibly impressed by all the preparations that have gone on".

He continued that the UK was "very good shape, not just to deal with new trading relationships, but all the other things".

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
December 10 2019

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