08:25 GMT +313 November 2019
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    A cyclist rides past an electronic billboard displaying a British government Brexit information awareness campaign advertisement in London, Britain, September 11, 2019

    Cup Half-Full or Cup Half-Empty? Johnson and Corbyn Clash Over UK Government’s New Brexit Offer

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    On Wednesday the UK government submitted an alternative to the so-called Irish “backstop” deal with the European Union. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to hammer out a deal before the end of the month.

    Boris Johnson told Parliament the European Union had reacted constructively to his proposals for a new deal but opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn predicted his “unrealistic and damaging proposals" would be rejected.

    Mr Johnson told the House of Commons: "While as I stand here today we are some way from a resolution, it is to the credit of our European friends that they have accepted the need to address these issues.”

    He said he had spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker after the UK government submitted the new proposals on Wednesday, 2 October.

    ​Mr Johnson reiterated that if he was unable to reach a deal with the EU then the UK would leave without a deal on 31 October, despite Parliament having passed legislation - the Benn Act - which forbids a no-deal Brexit and orders the Prime Minister to seek an extension from the EU.

    ​The Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "The proposals are unrealistic and damaging, and will, as I think the prime minister full well knows, be rejected in Brussels, rejected in this House and rejected across this country.”

    ​Mr Johnson said his government had made a "genuine attempt to bridge the chasm" with the EU and the Republic of Ireland, who have been dead set against a hard border with Northern Ireland.

    He said his plan - which would see Northern Ireland stay in the European single market for goods but leave the customs union - was a "compromise."

    ​The European Commission has already said there are "problematic points" in the proposal.

    The UK government said it aimed to reach a final agreement at an EU summit on 17 October.

    Sources in Parliament say Mr Johnson is thought to be planning to prorogue Parliament next week, in a bid to block further debate on Brexit.

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    European Union, Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson, Brexit
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