Rumour has it that Boris Johnson has done a deal with the EU.
The whole of the UK will, supposedly, be leaving the EU. Except, and this is the most almighty except, there will be a border down the Irish* Sea. Northern Ireland will stay in the Customs Union and Single Market and some form of words will be used to suggest otherwise.
Of course, this interpretation of what is being discussed in Brussels may be hopelessly wrong: all that is being leaked may be deliberately misleading. But suppose it isn't. Suppose Johnson is trying to replicate, in his own mind only, the achievement of the Good Friday Agreement that let those who wanted to think they lived in a united Ireland think they did, whilst allowing those who continued to think the six counties were part of the UK persist in that belief as well.
Here Johnson will claim we've all left the EU.
Except Northern Ireland will have some different rules that happen to align exactly with those of the EU which the UK will happen, perchance, to operate on its behalf.
Let's ignore £1 billion spent to avoid this by 'buying' the DUP.
And three wasted years as they objected to any Irish sea border.
And the claim by the ERG that this could never be agreed to.
Those are all political history. What matters is that the Good Friday Agreement told a truth: there was no border any more, as I well know having crossed its absence many times. And what this Bad Tuesday Deal does is tell a lie. It will say there is no border when there will, quite emphatically, be one.
What does that mean?
Will Northern Ireland keep representation in the EU Parliament? It should.
Will the Uk still contribute to the EU? It should.
And why shouldn't Scotland also have this deal? After all, it too wanted to stay. And a border could be easily arranged.
And how will Northern Ireland law be legislated? There is no Stormont parliament in session, but it will require very different law from the rest of the UK.
And how will the UK do trade deals that do not apply to the whole of the UK?
This suggestion answers no questions.
But it does leave a gaping hole in any known Tory EU strategy.
And, whatever Johnson might hope, it leaves the Brexit Party still in play. As will be Unionists unhappy with their lot in Northern Ireland.
This is a very bad deal, if it is as I am guessing.
But who knows?
Not Boris Johnson, I suspect.
* Apologies: I published saying North Sea: now corrected