Brexit Party's Owen Reed believes that Johnson is unlikely to convince EU leaders to get rid of the backstop. However, in his view, there are plenty of alternative options to replace the controversial clause.
Sputnik: Will the EU agree to negotiate a new Brexit deal with Boris Johnson?
Owen Reed: I think we are definitely heading towards a no-deal scenario. If you just look at what the EU's been saying all along; there's no way they are going to remove the backstop, they see it as an insurance policy, so I don't think there's any way he's going to get them to remove it. Theresa May tried her hardest and couldn't get them to remove it, so I don't see why Boris could do it himself.
Sputnik: Is the Irish backstop as unacceptable as Boris Johnson claims?
Owen Reed: I think it's completely unacceptable. It keeps us tied into the customs union and does not give us the benefits of Brexit; there's no point leaving the EU with the backstop still there. The problem is; and what Boris Johnson fails to understand, is that it's not just the backstop that is a problem, that is just a minor detail in the vast number of things wrong with the deal.
Sputnik: What alternatives to the backstop could be implemented?
Owen Reed: There are plenty of alternatives. What we do currently with non-EU goods is check them after they've already come through the border, we check around five to ten per cent at the border, and then we have trading standards going into stores looking at goods.
There are many ways we can get around it; everything does not need to be checked at the border; have a small percentage checked at the border, and the rest of it can be done outside of that, it can be done in stores with things like trading standards as I said.
There are so many ways around it, but the EU has put this in place to try and keep us tied into the customs union, to try and keep us tied into the EU as much as possible.
Views and opinions, expressed in the article are those of Owen Reed and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.