A leaked report looking into alternatives to the Irish border backstop has claimed there are “concerns and issues” in every case.
The dossier, seen by The Guardian, summarises the findings of the government’s own “alternative arrangements” working groups.
It concludes there is no single deliverable option that could be put forward instead of the backstop – despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s assertion there are “abundant solutions”.
According to the Guardian, the paper states: “It is evident that every facilitation has concerns and issues related to them. The complexity of combining them into something more systemic and as part of one package is a key missing factor at present.”
Johnson’s own suggestion to avoid a hard border through mobile checks of livestock and crops is deemed the most unlikely option to work.
The report said: “Overall there were a number of concerns surrounding the deliverability of technological facilitations.”
His recommendation of a trusted trader scheme also raised questions over its practicality.
The EU has repeatedly said it is open to finding a solution to the backstop within the remaining time frame – but officials insist they do not believe there is anything that is suitable.
The backstop – which Johnson has blasted as “anti-democratic” – has been designed to protect the Good Friday Agreement, the Single Market and Ireland’s security and economy until such time as a solution is found.
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