Under the plan, Ireland would voluntarily agree to temporarily leave European Union trading rules and align with the UK instead.
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly wants Ireland to agree to temporarily leave its trading partnership with the European Union and join with the UK instead.
- The plan is said to be one of the "creative solutions" Johnson plans to raise with EU leaders this week.
- Ireland described the proposal as "worrying" and dismissed any suggestion that the country would align with the UK.
- Johnson is due to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday evening.
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly wants Ireland to agree to temporarily leave its trading union with the European Union and join with the UK instead after Brexit.
The Sun newspaper reports that Downing Street is considering asking Ireland to voluntarily diverge from EU rules to prevent a hard border between the two countries after Britain leaves the EU.
Under the plan Ireland would gain a "special dispensation" from Brussels to leave its trading rules until new "alternative arrangements" to the Northern Ireland backstop are established.
"The solution is a bilateral agreement to agree a common rule book for Britain and Ireland for as long we need one," a senior minister in Johnson's government told The Sun.
The person added: "Ideally though, the EU would formally propose it rather than us [so] it is more acceptable to the Irish."
Ireland described the proposal as "worrying."
"This is an EU-UK matter, we are the EU, there is no scope for a bilateral agreement," Neale Richmond, the Brexit spokesman for Ireland's ruling Fine Gael party, tweeted, adding that the apparent proposal was a "worrying pivot" by the UK government.
Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Coveney told RTE Radio that Ireland would not be "steam-rolled" by Britain.
"There is a consequence to the approach that the British Government is taking and that consequence is that they are making a no-deal far more likely," he said.
The proposal for a new trade union between the two countries is reportedly one of the "creative solutions" Johnson has said he'll raise with EU leaders this week.
"There are plenty of other creative solutions" to the border issue, Johnson told ITV News on Tuesday.
"I'm going to go and see if I can explore those ideas with our friends in Germany and France, and at the G7. Let's see where we get to."
The prime minister is due to meet for dinner with German Chancellor Angel Merkel on Wednesday evening before having lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday.
Johnson's proposal comes after he wrote to the European Council's president, Donald Tusk, this week to insist that the Northern Ireland backstop must be removed from the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
Tusk dismissed the idea and accused Johnson of secretly wanting to trigger a new hard border on the island of Ireland.