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UK will submit concrete Brexit proposals soon: Johnson

UK will submit concrete Brexit proposals soon: Johnson

Manchester (England): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed Tuesday that Britain will make firm proposals for a new divorce deal with the European Union within days, saying "this is the moment when the rubber hits the road."

Britain is due to leave the 28-nation bloc at the end of this month, and EU leaders are growing impatient with the UK's failure to set out detailed plans for maintaining an open border between the UK's Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland the key sticking point to a deal.

Johnson said details would be disclosed "very soon."

The UK plans to send them to Brussels within days after the governing Conservative Party conference ends Wednesday in Manchester, northwest England.

Johnson says Britain will leave the EU on the scheduled October 31 date with or without a deal.

A Brexit agreement between the EU and his predecessor, Theresa May, was rejected three times by the UK Parliament, largely because of opposition to the "backstop," an insurance policy designed to ensure there is no return to customs posts or other infrastructure on the Irish border. An open border underpins both the local economy and Northern Ireland's

peace process.

British Brexit supporters oppose the backstop because it would keep the UK tightly bound to EU trade rules in order to avoid customs checks limiting the country's ability to strike new trade deals around the world.

"There is no point in doing Brexit if you stay locked in the (EU) customs union and locked in the single market with no say," Johnson told the BBC.

He didn't say what Britain's proposed alternative is. So far the UK has floated the idea of a common area for livestock and agricultural products, plus largely untested "technological solutions." The EU says that is inadequate. Ireland's deputy prime minister also rejected an idea raised in preliminary UK proposals for customs posts 5 to 10 miles (8 to 16 kilometers) away from the border.

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