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Dan O'Brien: 'The backstop is dead and the no-deal Brexit looms'

Britain was never going to swallow the backstop. Irish commentators should stop banging tribal drums, writes Dan O'Brien

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Cartoonist: J. White

Cartoonist: J. White

Cartoonist: J. White

Britain did not swallow the Irish border backstop. The massive rejection by Westminster of the EU Withdrawal Agreement containing the backstop reflects well on none of the participants in the Brexit fiasco. That includes the Irish Government.

The 14-month-old backstop sought to ensure that, despite Britain's exit from the EU and its enormous implications, there could never be any change whatsoever to how the Border on this island functions. One of the many reasons Brexit presented a strategic nightmare for Ireland was that it would inevitably change how the two jurisdictions on this island interact.

Absolutism in the face of the inevitable is rarely a wise position to take. Demanding of the British that there be absolutely no change to border arrangements was always more likely to bring about the hardest and most damaging form of Brexit than it was to preserve the status quo.


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