Boris Johnson plans to force Parliament to sign a new Brexit deal in just 10 days – including night and weekend sessions – further signaling Downing Street's determination to negotiate an orderly exit from the EU. .
According to the number 10 officials, Johnson's team drew up detailed plans for the Prime Minister to reach an agreement with the EU at a summit in Brussels on 17 and 18 October, before having the new withdrawal agreement by Parliament at breakneck speed.
Sterling rose 1.1% against the US dollar to $ 1.247 on Friday as a result of growing optimism that Johnson was now resolutely moving away from the prospect of an uncoordinated exit and favoring a compromise largely based on Theresa May's withdrawal agreement.
Officials in Dublin and Brussels said signs of movement were manifesting from Johnson as he sought a compromise on Irish support, the controversial insurance policy against the return of 39, a hard boundary in Ireland, although both parties remain distant from each other.
EU diplomats said Friday's talks in Brussels between the European Commission and British negotiators had been more productive than previous meetings.
A diplomatic note from the EU said that Britain seemed ready to stick to what had been agreed by Ms May to prevent animal health checks at the Irish border and thus maintain the free movement of food and livestock on the island. The UK "even plans" to align Northern Ireland with future EU rule changes, according to the note.
The diplomats warned, however, that important issues remained unresolved and that it would only be part of the solution to avoid a difficult Irish border. Great Britain must also make written proposals and EU officials are worried about the short time available to reach a new agreement before the planned departure date of the United Kingdom on 31 October.
On Monday, Johnson will travel to Luxembourg to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss the prospects for an agreement – their first meeting since the Conservative leader's entry into Downing Street in July.
In the meantime, Conservative leader Mark Spencer told Eurosceptic rebels that they would be out of the party if they refused an agreement that Mr. Johnson would have negotiated in Brussels.
At the same time, Johnson tries to charm some hard-line supporters by inviting eurosceptic MEPs to check out his campaign retreat for Checkers on Friday night.
One MP seemed resigned to supporting Mr. Johnson if he reached a compromise agreement: "There is really no other place to go. Let's see what he will have in Brussels. "
Nikki da Costa, the Prime Minister's legislative affairs officer, told his colleagues that she was convinced that if an agreement were to be reached at the next European Council, it could be adopted before 31 October.
"Nikki told us that she was considering getting an agreement on Brexit in 10 days," said a senior government official. "Parliament may be sitting every day and every night, including the weekend, but it is confident that we can leave on October 31 with an agreement."
"It's technically possible to pass the necessary legislation in about 10 days – we've just seen members of Parliament pass a bill in one day in the House of Commons," said Maddy Thimont Jack, of the think tank. 39, Institute for the Government. She added, however, that "going this way means little time for a thorough review".
At their meeting on Monday, Juncker should urge Johnson to come up with a detailed proposal on Brexit, warning that time is running out and that any solution must protect the economy from all over the world. 39, Ireland and the EU single market.
"Hope this indicates that the UK has finally decided to put an end to its aspirations in Brexit and that number 10 is seriously interested in finding a solution," said an EU diplomat.
Many in Brussels are convinced that the only solution lies in the return to a version of the backstop "only for Northern Ireland", an idea proposed by the EU early 2018 but rejected by Ms. May.
This plan would eliminate the alternative customs union between the United Kingdom and the European Union, which had been rejected three times by deputies, and would impose controls on goods crossing the Irish sea.
Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist party that supports the Conservative government, has described as "unsung" suggestions that she would be willing to accept a border in the Irish Sea, but the party is nonetheless committed in the search for a compromise.