Parliament repetedly shot down former Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan, fatally compromised by its complicated arrangements for keeping Ireland free of border controls. Parliament also has passed a law forcing current Prime Minister Boris Johnson to do whatever it takes to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which most experts believe would be economically catastrophic. Which leaves us with the freshly-announced Boris Brexit Deal, whose parameters are being revealed today. Chief among them, though, is an eventual border between the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic — the unacceptable outcome that years of negotiation sought to avoid in the first place.
And would that be acceptable to the Irish government and the EU?
At first sight, no. Infrastructure on the Irish border even after an effective transition period of four years is a red line for Ireland, which is concerned it would destabilise border communities that have flourished economically and socially since peace 21 years ago.
The Irish border problem is summed up by @BorisJohnson as "essentially a technical discussion of the exact nature of customs checks." The EU see it as about peace in Ireland, defending the European ideal & the single market. This gulf in understanding may not be bridgeable
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) October 2, 2019
The European Union is taking the offer under considrration, but it's an offer they have to refuse.
From the very start of this process, Brussels and Dublin have insisted that there must be no new border checks with Northern Ireland. This is a commitment that the UK government signed up when led by Theresa May.
The EU has also been clear that the integrity of the European Single Market must be maintained and that there must be no get-out clauses for the UK a few years down the line.
All of those red lines are broken by this offer.
Which is to say that Boris's plan is designed to be rejected. It's a stalking horse for the no-deal "option" that would benefit the very few at the expense of all others.