This is an extraordinarily alarming report.…
Please tell me that we are not going back to the bad old days of 2016 and early 2017, when some incautious Irish commentators took the Jacob Rees-Mogg line that the UK could do whatever the hell it wanted, without this implying a hard border on the island of Ireland.
I thought we were past that stage, having figured out what the issues were. But maybe we aren't so perhaps I need to repost this:…
A reminder. For a hard border to be avoided, Northern Ireland needs to effectively stay in the EU CU and SM for goods. And VAT area, something we haven't talked enough about.
Unless it does all that, a hard border is inevitable -- unless of course IRL would prefer to join the UK outside the EU.

Which would be a fine way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our statehood, and destroy our economy into the bargain.
I get that the government may not want to talk about the need for a border in the event that a backstop is delivered. But then it should say nothing. Statements to the effect that no matter what, there won't be a hard border are inaccurate and irresponsible.
The only people that benefit are the Jacob Rees Moggs of this world, since it comforts their view that the UK could import all the chlorinated chicken it wanted without there being any need for new borders.
And, of course, the small minority in IRL who want to follow the mother ship out of the EU, and are looking for an excuse, no matter how dishonest.

And blaming a new border on the WTO or the EU, rather than on the UK, can provide them with such an excuse.
Varadkar has done very well to date, but the Withdrawal Agreement including the backstop has not yet been agreed. The UK remains sovereign, as it has always been. It can do whatever the hell it wants, no matter how destructive that might be.
It would be a tragedy (in the dramatic sense, since if Varadkar has a flaw it is that he seems too pleased with himself) if by overselling what he has already achieved, his government provided succour to the No Deal Brexiteers, thus helping to bring about the border no-one wants.
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