(Shorter: it's still all about the Irish backstop)
a) attack - eviscerate Chequers for cherry picking
b) parry - play for time, probe UK real red lines
c) focus on what is deliverable to conclude Withdrawal Agreement in Autumn /2
More here: telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/…
The focus is delivering a divorce treaty by 29.03.19 and for this most of work is done.
Except the backstop.... /3
Which contrary to some recent speculation, remains unresolved. Here's why. /4
The White Paper does not mean UK is preparing to swallow backstop that keeps Northern Ireland in "customs territory of the Union" /5
At that point a *customs* border descends down the Irish Sea.
That is fundamentally different from regulatory border that exists now. /6
The east-west customs checks would be chaotic indeed, but NI would have free access to Single Market...and Scotland, which never wanted to leave the Single Market, would not. /7
The problem is that the EU says that is impossible. /8
So UK must accept backstop that caters specifically for Northern Ireland.
At this point, core interests clash. /9
For the UK, the territorial integrity of the UK, which likewise cannot be ruptured by a no deal.
This conundrum is not resolved. Who will give?
It is possible that both sides could mutually de-dramatise the regulatory checks.
After all, NI does have existing checks for veterinary, timber and fertiliser etc. So it would a question of degree, not principle. /11
The Brits argue that EU has already busted the legal sanctity of Article 50 by including backstop (which covers future) at all. So could accept UK-wide solution. /13
For the EU, the cogency of the single market. For the UK, the unitedness of the Kingdom itself.
The EU, Dublin can wait, watch the pressure build...but no deal, no backstop at all is a catastrophe for Ireland. /16
The anger of the 17.4m and the grassroots is so clear, which is Greening/Mandelson/Blair and co have tactically decided to kill it too. /17