Michel Barnier, the EUs Chief Negotiator for Brexit, has offered what has widely been described as a ‘non-concession’ on the Irish backstop which seems to have sunk as potential game-changer almost as quickly as it undoubtedly took Barnier to cobble together the 140 character Tweet.
Barnier said the ‘UK would not be forced to stay in the Customs Union indefinitely’ but omitting to mention that if it chooses to do the backstop will default to one that still applies to Northern Ireland and has been previously rejected by the UK Government:
4/5 EU commits to give UK the option to exit the Single Customs Territory unilaterally, while the other elements of the backstop must be maintained to avoid a hard border. UK will not be forced into customs union against its will.
— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) March 8, 2019
Unsurprisingly, the DUP are unimpressed:
DUP Sources have told Sky News the offer presented by EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier shows “no respect to the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK” describing it as a “non-starter”
— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) March 8, 2019
So, here we are facing the most decisive week for Brexit since the June referendum and Mrs May’s much-vaunted negotiating process has yielded the sum-total of nothing…..