Brexit and Boris - Mini-backstop?

Brexit and Boris - Mini-backstop?

It is hard to know the effects of the ruling by Scotland’s highest court of appeal that has declared unlawful the suspension of parliament by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The suspension has one advantage: it could provide the time and space for real Brexit negotiations to take place outside the cauldron of Westminster.

There are already signs of movement on a backstop confined to Northern Ireland but with enhanced constitutional guarantees to Unionists and a mechanism to ensure oversight by a newly-convened Stormont Assembly – a sort of backstop to the backstop.

That may not be as strange as it sounds. Johnson has indicated he is prepared to look at divergence of certain rules and regulations on the island of Ireland.

While the EU 27 are unlikely to allow him cherry-pick the Withdrawal Agreement, it is notable that the DUP is not averse to allowing different rules on agriculture to apply in Northern Ireland to that which would operate in Britain.

If that was extended to other goods and services, we could end up with a mini-backstop that everyone could sign up to.

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