Cliff Taylor: Is there any way now to avoid a no-deal Brexit?
There is no magic solution to the Border issue and it is not clear whether there is any route to a compromise either
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and UK prime minister Theresa May: If talks fail, we face new trading arrangements being introduced overnight. Photograph: PA
The trouble with political negotiations is that they often end up with a messy compromise. And when you are trying to skirt around everyone’s red lines – as in the Brexit talks – the attempt to strike a deal which keeps everyone on board can lead to the most extraordinary contortions.
In the Brexit talks, even the messy compromise may be a step too far. Finding a landing spot in the next few weeks to finalise a withdrawal agreement will be devilishly difficult, with the Irish Border issue centre-stage. This is because there isn’t a solution which everyone can sign up to without one side trampling over their red lines. The EU side won’t do this. And Theresa May can’t – at least not without staring down the Brexiteers and the DUP. So sooner or later she has to make a choice and make a call over whether she want to do a deal and try to pilot it through parliament.