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Boris Johnson to reveal final Brexit plan



British PM Boris Johnson addressing about Brexit

Boris Johnson will finally unveil his detailed plan for Brexit to EU leaders within the next 24 hours, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Downing Street will set out the Prime Minister’s preferred alternative to the Irish backstop in a series of calls to EU capitals ahead of a formal text being delivered to Brussels after his speech to the Conservative Party conference on Wednesday.

Senior sources with knowledge of the UK proposals confirmed reports that it would require a customs border to be created in Ireland, but with technology to smooth the movement of goods between north and south.

The plan is expected to be based on the creation of an all-Ireland “economic zone” which would allow agricultural and food products to move between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland without checks at the border, the report said.

Mr Johnson says that he would prefer leaving with a deal.

At the Conservative Party conference on Monday, he said: “I’m cautiously optimistic. We have made some pretty big moves, we are waiting to see whether our European friends will help us and whether we can find the right landing zone.”

MPs have passed a law requiring Mr Johnson to seek an extension to the deadline from the bloc if he is unable to pass a deal in Parliament, or get MPs to approve a no-deal Brexit, by 19 October.

The biggest obstacle to a deal is the backstop – the plan to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Since becoming prime minister, Mr Johnson has stressed to EU leaders the backstop would have to be replaced if any deal was to be passed by Parliament.

Mr Johnson has argued that the backstop would keep the UK too closely aligned with EU rules after Brexit.

Talks have continued between the UK and EU, at a technical level. Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier met.

Customs formalities would be carried out mostly where goods originate or at their final destination.

The UK government maintains that any further customs inspections would be very limited – and these could be conducted either at new locations or at existing business premises.

The Irish broadcaster RTE had reported that a “string of customs posts perhaps five to 10 miles away from the frontier” had been floated by the UK.

However, government sources have denied that UK officials had proposed a series of inspection posts on either side of the Irish border.

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