Newton Emerson: There is a backstop deal to be done
DUP and Dublin have powerful shared interest in getting withdrawal agreement through
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with DUP leader Arlene Foster. The DUP is now afraid the British government or the House of Commons will ditch the all-UK backstop, leaving the Northern Ireland one in place and deepening the potential sea border. That gives the DUP and Dublin a powerful shared interest in getting the withdrawal agreement through largely unaltered. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
An interview by Poland’s foreign minister kicked off this week’s backstop wobbling. Jacek Czaputowicz said Ireland and the UK are playing “a game of chicken” and the backstop should be given a five-year limit to avoid a “frontal collision”.
However, an article by Portugal’s former Europe minister, also published on Monday, was more interesting. Bruno Maçães delved beyond Poland’s frustration with getting a deal over the line and damned the whole structure of negotiations. “The Brexit talks were badly designed from the start,” he wrote for the Politico website.