Despite discussion of a "breakthrough" Ireland says no.
- The UK must agree to the backstop or something else that Ireland and the EU will accept.
- Ireland will not accept a hard border.
- Ireland will not accept a technological border.
- Ireland will not accept a time limit on the backstop.
- Ireland will not accept a foods only border proposal.
- If Ireland and the UK cannot agree to a deal that the EU also accepts, then a hard Brexit ensues unless the UK withdraws article 50.
- A hard Brexit is the default legal position.
- In the event of a hard Brexit, the backstop will be gone.
Ireland's position is mathematically impossible in the event of No Deal.
Ireland will then have to choose between 2, 3, and 5.
Ireland will not choose option 2 as the burden will fall 100% on Ireland. Northern Ireland won't cooperate.
A time limit just buys time. It will not solve the issue. However, a time limit in conjunction with option 3 or 4 is possible.
More likely is a combination of 3 and 5 with possibly an interim 4.
Unless Ireland bends, a hard Brexit is the most likely outcome.
I suspect Ireland's positions wavers with its assessment of stopping Brexit outright.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock