How ironic the Irish will likely be the ones to save Britain from itself.

Ireland looks like it is about to save Britain’s bacon by insisting, with the full support of the European Union, that there can be no physical border between North and South.

It seemed like this matter had been decided months ago but a rabid pack of Tory right-wingers is demanding that a hard border must be part of a hard Brexit.

They are coming up with increasingly fanciful solutions: drones will patrol the border, incredible high-resolution cameras will scan every license plate, Harry Potter will wield magic powers to make the border appear for Unionists and disappear for Nationalists.

OK, that last one’s a joke

The deadline for the agreed timetable and the agreed outline of the future relationship is March 22, but nothing can go ahead unless the Irish border deal is agreed to by Ireland as promised.

Read more: Video of crossing Irish border 4 times in 10 min shows absurdity of hard border

Brexit Northern Ireland. How will Northern Ireland be treated in Brexit. Image: RollingNews.ie

Brexit Northern Ireland. How will Northern Ireland be treated in Brexit. Image: RollingNews.ie

British anti-Brexiteers are delighted that the Irish border deal, which Ireland says must not include a physical restoration of the border, may well scuttle the hard Brexiteers dreams of complete severance from the EU.

But the news on Brexit continues to be dreadful. Polly Toynbee, columnist with The Guardian, points out just some of the setbacks Britain must endure that have only become obvious in the past few weeks – 90 percent of the veterinary surgeons in slaughterhouses are non-British endangering a safe food supply; the lack of EU nurses and doctors will add to the crushing number of vacancies currently in the National Health System; fruit and vegetables in massive numbers will rot because of no immigrant labor allowed – to name just a few. These problems are just the tip of the iceberg with a hard Brexit.

The Irish Ambassador in London Adrian O’Neill makes clear there can be no hard border or hard Brexit under the agreement the Irish reached with the EU.

Read more: British Brexit voters don’t know where the Irish border is

Adrian O'Neill, Irish Ambassador to the UK. Image: Twitter.

Adrian O'Neill, Irish Ambassador to the UK. Image: Twitter.

Toynbee writes, “He points to the withdrawal agreement, where paragraph 49 is carved in stone. On the border question it says: ‘In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the internal market and the customs union.’ There are no other agreed solutions – none. Clarity is needed fast, says the ambassador, ‘Paragraph 49 is the failsafe.’”

As the law is now envisaged, Northern Ireland will remain in the customs union i.e. there will be no tariffs on goods between Northern Ireland and the EU, which obviates the need for a border. There will be two systems in place: a British Brexit where tariffs will be charged between countries, and an Irish North-and-South version where tariffs will not be charged.

The opposition Labour Party will vote for Northern Ireland to stay in the customs union, as will most of the Tories who oppose Brexit, giving it a majority.

Read more: Democratic Unionists are the biggest Brexit losers

The DUP and their leader Arlene Foster will be far from happy to be treated differently to the UK in Brexit terms. Image: RollingNews.ie.

The DUP and their leader Arlene Foster will be far from happy to be treated differently to the UK in Brexit terms. Image: RollingNews.ie.

Scotland and Wales, of course, will then start calling for their own little side deals while unionists in Ireland will be incandescent with rage at Northern Ireland being treated differently from the rest of the United Kingdom. But Northern Ireland is already different when it comes to laws like gay marriage and abortion.

If the customs union stays there can only be a soft Brexit, as Toynbee wrote, “The anvil on which a soft Brexit is forged will be Ireland.”

How ironic the Irish will likely be the ones to save Britain from itself.

What do you think is going to be introduced? A hard or soft Brexit border? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, below. 

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Theresa May. RollingNews.ie