Stephen Collins: Johnson’s backstop offer should not be dismissed out of hand

Taking emotion out of Brexit proposals, or at least minimising it, will be vital on all sides

British prime minister Boris Johnson has told MPs he has made a “genuine attempt to bridge the chasm” to strike a fresh Brexit deal with the EU with his proposals to replace the backstop. Video: UK Parliament

Amid the initial suspicion in Dublin and Brussels about British prime minister Boris Johnson’s 11th-hour offer of a deal with the European Union it should be recognised that he has made a necessary if not yet sufficient move which may form the basis for genuine discussions.

If it is a take it or leave it offer, as was widely touted by Downing Street sources in advance, it will almost certainly be rejected by the EU negotiating team and the Irish Government. If, on the other hand, it is a starting point for detailed negotiations there is an outside chance it could still form the basis for a deal.

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