Despite discussion of a "breakthrough" Ireland says no.

Ireland's Position

  1. The UK must agree to the backstop or something else that Ireland and the EU will accept.
  2. Ireland will not accept a hard border.
  3. Ireland will not accept a technological border.
  4. Ireland will not accept a time limit on the backstop.
  5. Ireland will not accept a foods only border proposal.

Guess What?

  • 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.

Mathematically Impossible

Ireland's position is mathematically impossible in the event of No Deal.

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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.

Curious Irony

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