Johnson government refuses to exclude direct rule over Northern Ireland

  • Downing Street has refused to exclude the possibility that Boris Johnson will introduce direct rule over Northern Ireland as part of preparations for a no-deal Brexit, raising the pressure for a poll on uniting the island of Ireland.
  • Ministers will consider in the coming days how to stop a no-deal exit from the EU disrupting the peace process in Northern Ireland and adding to the risk that the United Kingdom could start to break up.
  • Asked whether direct rule was being considered, Mr Johnson’s spokeswoman said: “We will make sure we have the necessary regulatory and administrative arrangements in place.”
  • Introducing direct rule would see the UK government rolling back devolution — a key part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended the Troubles in Northern Ireland — and could increase demands for a “border poll” on uniting the two parts of the island of Ireland.

Raab: UK will be better able to negotiate with EU after no-deal Brexit

  • Dominic Raab has claimed Britain will be in a better position to negotiate a “good deal” with the EU if it crashes out of the bloc before the end of October, as Britain could provide more leverage in the context of a free trade agreement and resolve issues such as the Irish backstop.
  • Raab also suggested that the EU’s “stubborn” behaviour would be responsible if the UK left without a deal and refused to endorse Boris Johnson’s claim during his campaign for the Conservative leadership that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit was a-million-to-one against.
  • Raab’s comments come days after Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said that “more and more people in Northern Ireland will come to question the union” if the UK crashed out of the EU.
  • Michael Gove said over the weekend that officials were “operating on the assumption” that a deal would not be struck.

Boris Johnson to ‘hold out the hand’ for new Brexit deal


  • During a visit to Scotland, Johnson said the existing withdrawal agreement negotiated with European leaders has “got to go”.
  • Preparations for a no-deal Brexit are being ramped up, with Johnson saying the UK must leave the EU by 31 October 2019.
  • Two committees have been set up as the UK government intensifies preparations for a possible no-deal exit, including a “daily operations committee” of senior ministers.

Sterling sinks 1% to under $1.23 on no-deal Brexit rhetoric

  • The growing chance that new prime minister Boris Johnson could trigger a chaotic UK exit from the EU sent sterling tumbling to its weakest point in two years on Monday.
  • Sterling dropped as much as 1.3 per cent to $1.2230, a level not touched since mid-March 2017 in the aftermath of the triggering of Article 50.
  • It fell by the same margin against the euro to below €1.10, its lowest level since January, as investors repriced the chances of a disruptive exit from the EU.