I have scanned the changes to Theresa May's Brexit deal that now make up Johnson's deal. There are sixty plus pages of them; many being in Annex 2 which lists all the EU laws that will still apply in Northern Ireland. There are 33 pages of these. Of course, that is not all EU law: but regarding trade it would certainly appear to be much of it, covering an enormous range of issues where EU standards will still apply in Northern Ireland.
And although the deal says that Northern Ireland is in the UK customs zone that is pure fantasy: Northern Ireland will exist in a purdah like location, clearly on the route to hell, where it is the customs rules to be applied will be arbitrary, with a default being that goods from the UK will be treated as if exported to the EU unless very strong evidence that they will not be can be supplied. Good luck with that one.
And even Republic of Ireland VAT law might apply.
That barrier down the Irish Sea is going to be pretty dramatic: and the red tape surrounding it will be draconian to a degree that will make those trading the Dover-Calais route think that they are relatively well off (and I promise you, they won't be).
Does this deal look like the result of furious political wheeler-dealing that has no relationship to reality? Yes, it does.
Can these arrangements possibly work, be regulated, or be sustainable? There is not a hope of that.
Will the people of Northern Ireland pay a significant price for this? I fear they will: being in limbo has to be paid for and the price, in this case, will be tariffs. When the default is that many goods will have to have tariffs applied because it cannot be proven that they will not go into the Republic there is bound to be an economic knock-on effect in the North.
Is massive evasion likely? I think we all know the answer to that.
Does this have to be the precursor for a united Ireland? I can see no way around it.
And what is in it for the UK? The right to make trade deals with countries who will look at the conditions applying to the Northern Ireland part of the arrangement and walk a mile from negotiating anything.
No one in their right minds would sign this.
I have a horrible feeling parliament will sign it.
The EU knows that the mayhem is all on our side. I have to say that their weariness shows.
But for me, Johnson dying in a ditch (politically, of course) would be a vastly better outcome.