The Guardian has today reported that the Irish border could yet harm Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, with experts saying it will be impossible to deliver the computer systems for the special arrangements for Northern Ireland by the end of this year.
Failure to implement the new systems will risk legal action by the European commission against Britain, the Institute for Government says.
The Prime Minister’s intention to establish a trade deal with the EU by the end of December 2020 was also dealt a blow by the Tanaiste Simon Coveney at the weekend as he indicated the bloc would be in no rush to work to Johnson’s timetable.
Coveney said the fact that Britain had put the timescale for a trade deal into law did not mean the other 27 European countries would fall in line. Coveney issued his warning on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, saying the deal to be struck between the UK and EU over their future relationship was vast, encompassing security, data, aviation and trade.
During the interview, Coveney said, "When people talk about the future relationship in the UK in particular, they seem to only talk about a future trade agreement. Actually, there’s much more to this than that … I know that Johnson has set a very ambitious timetable to get this done – he’s even put it into British law – but just because a British parliament decides that British law says something, doesn’t mean that that law applies to the other 27 countries of the European Union."