Boris Johnson appears to have moved closer to securing a Brexit deal with the EU after making major concessions to EU demands over the Irish border.
According to The Guardian it is understood that the negotiating teams have agreed in principle that there will be a customs border down the Irish Sea.
The arrangement was rejected by Theresa May as a deal that no British prime minister could accept.
One diplomatic source said of the tentative agreement that “Northern Ireland would de jure be in the UK’s customs territory but de facto in the European Union’s”.
We are making progress
Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said earlier today that it remained uncertain whether a deal would be ready in time for the Brussels summit.
“The initial indications (from the EU) are that we are making progress, negotiations are moving in the right direction,” he told reporters.
“But whether we will be able to conclude a revised Withdrawal Agreement, which is an international treaty, in time for the summit, that’s as of now unclear.”
Mr Varadkar also revealed that the PM told him during their meeting last week he was “confident” he would be able to do what Theresa May thrice failed to do by getting a deal through the House of Commons.
The pound hit a five-month high against the Euro today after hopes began to raise over a deal.
Sterling reached €1.1499 versus the single currency, a level last seen in May 2019.
The Pound also climbed against the US Dollar, up to $1.2633.
Worse off than May’s deal
Last week it was revealed Johnson’s Brexit proposals would leave UK economy worse off than Theresa May’s deal.
The impact of Mr Johnson’s proposals on UK GDP per capita ten years after Brexit could be between -2.3 per cent and -7 per cent, compared to remaining in the EU.
This compares to May’s deal, between -1.9 per cent and -5.5 per cent, and an exit on WTO terms, between -3.5 per cent and ‑8.7 per cent.
The ranges reflect uncertainty regarding migration policy and the impact on productivity.
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