The poor old Grauniad is not un-relieved crap and today for instance in the much maligned (and generally, rightly so) CiF section there is a thoughtful and robustly written contribution by Sean Walsh.
Essentially his point is that the whole so-called Irish border problem which is convulsing the UK cabinet and has been for weeks is so much hot air. The IRA is not going to relight their nasty campaign of murder, intimidation and vandalism for the simple reason that the only reason they signed up to the Belfast agreement in the first place was that they were beaten militarily, mainly thanks to diligent and courageous police and intelligence work over many years.
In fact viewed from the lofy heights of Castello Italicus the whole imbroglio is very suggestive of the true facts on the ground. The mechanism by which May was manouvred into number 10 by the EU Commission is not yet clear, but there is no doubt in my mind that she has been well and truly nobbled. Her persistence with the insane proposal for a customs partnership is proof of that. As is the complete failure to engage with reality, and propose an EEA/EFTA transition period. In this scenario we would be out of the Customs Union, out of the EU, but with good access to the single market much as have Norway and Switzerland. It is no coincidence that they are the richest nations in Europe.
The precise details would need to be ironed out such as EU migration and so on, but this would be a situation which any PM worth her salt could sell to back benchers and the electorate, rgardless of how they voted in 2016. Damage to the economy would be minimised, and despite all the shit talked about fax diplomacy (which is simply a lie, as has been pointed out by Dr North on several million occasions) would be safely negated by the truth.
The current bollocks and counter bollocks arguments, so strongly reminiscent of arguing about how many angels can dance on a pin head, serve only to make the whole issue seem impossible and can best be understood as a Continuity Project Fear (to continue with the IRA meme). Orchestrated by Brussels, with the collaboration of senior members of the civil service.
My gut feeling is that the EEA/EFTA rabbit is straining to be pulled out of the hat but Brussels via Mrs May’s team won’t allow that.
And on the Irish border question the answer is simply do nothing. We the UK won’t put up hard border posts. If the Irish do under instructions from Brussels then that is their problem. In other words stand our ground, turn the problem round. And she won’t do that either.
It is clear to me that May is acting under instructions from Brussels. It is quite possible that Cameron’s over-hasty departure after losing was prompted by having received curt instructions from Brussels to “Fix It Or Else” and as a reasonably honourable though dim individual he opted to leave it to someone else.
May’s conduct is explicable only by this theory.