Unworkable, undeliverable, undesirable: Boris Johnson’s new Brexit proposals

Boris Johnson’s Brexit proposals, billed as a “breakthrough”, are nothing more than a half-baked plan by Dominic Cummings and the clique of Vote Leave extremists who are now running Downing Street.

Here’s what you need to know about Boris Johnson’s ill-thought through Brexit plan.

1) This is a proposal designed to fail

Boris Johnson’s plan to scrap the Irish backstop is a “take it or leave it” threat to the European Union, designed to make a no-deal Brexit – a catastrophic outcome that would hit 100,000 Scottish jobs, harm public services and hurt the economy – even more likely.

It’s an unworkable plan divorced from reality and the Tories know it. If it is rejected by the EU, as is increasingly likely, Johnson must obey the law and seek an Article 50 extension, rather than blame the EU for his own failures.

Boris Johnson – who doesn’t even have a mandate to be Prime Minister – has no mandate for a no-deal Brexit from the Scottish Parliament, the UK Parliament, or from the electorate. If he does not seek an extension to the October 31 deadline, we will remove him from office without delay.

2) It faced widespread criticism and dismissal from EU countries, including Ireland

The European Parliament has told Boris Johnson that his Irish border proposals do not “even remotely” stack up to an acceptable deal – echoing comments by the Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar.

What’s more, the Brexit steering group of the European Parliament said the plan for customs checks on the island of Ireland would “breach a range of fundamental principles and red lines“.

The reaction from Ireland’s deputy prime minister – who said that if these are the final proposals, there will be a no-deal – is yet more evidence that Boris Johnson’s proposals are nothing more than a sham designed to force an extreme no-deal Brexit through the backdoor.

3) It puts Scotland at a competitive disadvantage

The special treatment proposed for Northern Ireland, in which it would partly remain in the EU single market and customs union, puts Scotland at a serious competitive disadvantage – hurting Scottish exporters and potentially curbing investment.

Following the Brexit vote, the Scottish Government’s compromise proposals – in which Scotland would remain in the single market and the customs union – were dismissed out of hand by Theresa May, who ignored Scotland’s unique circumstances and our overwhelming vote to Remain.

Now, as the UK government is willing to make it acceptable for Northern Ireland to stay in the single market, it is outrageous that this has been ruled out for Scotland.

4) It is a re-hashed version of Theresa May’s Brexit deal – rejected three times by historic margins, and still disastrous for Scotland

The only notable change being offered by Boris Johnson is the scrapping of the backstop – aside from being unworkable, it is also deeply undesirable to all parties.

These proposals are simply a rehash of Theresa May’s Brexit deal – one that Boris Johnson himself had repeatedly voted against. If it wasn’t good enough then, why would it be good enough now? The simple answer is – it’s not.

The disastrous impact of the deal remains unchanged – as the Scottish Government’s analysis showed, it would leave each person in Scotland £1,600 worse off, while also resulting in a 3.9% cut to the UK’s GDP over 15 years, when compared to remaining in the EU.

What’s more, it would slash hard-won rights such as freedom of movement, robbing the people of Scotland of the opportunities to live, work and study across the European Union, as well as harming our public services.

5) Scotland has been completely ignored throughout the Brexit process

In June 2016, Scotland voted decisively in favour of our EU membership, with every single one of the 32 local authority areas voting Remain.

Since then, Westminster has dismissed the votes of the Scottish Parliament at every turn and explicitly ignored Scotland’s economic and social interests – with the 13 Scottish Tory MPs consistently standing up for Boris Johnson’s interests, rather than those of Scotland.

The Tories’ attitude towards Scotland, with Boris Johnson intent on imposing an extreme Brexit against our will, has torn any pretence of the Union as a “partnership of equals” into shreds.

It’s clearer than ever before that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is by becoming an independent country at the heart of Europe. Join us and pledge your support for independence – together, we can build a stronger, fairer and more equal Scotland.