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In all the hullabaloo about the EU's rejection of the Chequers proposals, one little detail has been forgotten: The Chequers proposals were never going to be part of the Brexit agreement in the first place.

If agreed, they would have been part of the proposals for the future relationship between the EU and UK - as contained in a non-binding "Political Declaration" - to accompany the legally binding Brexit agreement.

The Brexit agreement itself is concerned mainly with the UK's exit payment, the treatment of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, and with the back-stop on the Irish border. According to all parties, that Brexit agreement has been 90% agreed, and the UK even signed up to the EU's outline proposals on the backstop in December 2017.

So the row over the EU rejection of the Chequers proposals (which had already been killed off by internal Tory party opposition before they ever got to Salzburg) is nothing but a red herring to distract attention from her real difficulty with the DUP.

If Theresa May wants to regain the trust of EU negotiators and achieve a Brexit deal, all she has to do is actually deliver on what she promised last December: a legally enforceable backstop which ensures that a hard border will never be required in Ireland.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 23rd, 2018 at 10:18:39 PM EST

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