Johnson Issues "Ultimatum" To EU As Ireland Balks At New Brexit 'Backstop' Plan

Hopes that the EU was preparing to offer a major concession to Boris Johnson and his negotiating team have already been dashed, and traders who have been mercilessly shorting the pound can rest assured: Yesterday's rally was just another strong entry point for GBP bears.

That's because, according to Bloomberg, Johnson has returned to the strategy of issuing unconvincing ultimatums to the EU. The PM said that the EU27 can either negotiate a Brexit deal on Johnson's terms, or accept no-deal.

Boris Johnson

Johnson will take a break on Wednesday from attempting to negotiate a Brexit deal, and head to Manchester, where he will address the Conservative Party's annual conference (which, thanks to the recent spate of defections and expulsions, will likely seem conspicuously smaller this year).

As details of Johnson’s proposals emerged on Tuesday, rumors that Johnson had convinced the Irish to embrace the plan were swiftly dismissed by Dublin. First, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said it didn’t look like the basis for a deal, and described a report of the plan in the Telegraph newspaper as "concerning."

Though the UK's parliament has voted in favor of legislation to prevent a no-deal exit, Johnson has promised not to ask for another Brexit delay under any circumstances, sparking rumors that the PM might risk prison by forcing Brexit through later this month.

But it's more likely that Johnson will find himself battling the remainers in court. And he still risks being ousted in an election.

"The prime minister will in no circumstances negotiate a delay," his office said.

As a reminder, here's a summary of Johnson's plan, which has been dubbed "Two borders, for four years," according to the Telegraph.

In the event that no trade deal is reached between the UK and EU, Johnson's plan would place Northern Ireland in a temporary regime with the EU with an explicit time limit. Customs checks would be mandated between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which is something Ireland and the EU have been said to oppose.

Johnson has insisted that this is his "final" proposal, and if it's rejected, he will walk away and start preparations for a no-deal Brexit.