As we have predicted in these columns for some time, Brexit is now a binary choice for British leader Boris Johnson -- side with Ireland and Europe or give in to the unionists.

The plan discussed this week by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Johnson would create a customs union to which both parts of Ireland would belong, obviating the need for a hard border.

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The border itself would be in the Irish sea, essentially between the landmasses of Ireland and Britain.

Is it a perfect situation? Of course not, but given that the other alternative is a no-deal Brexit with chaos to follow it is the only remaining rational choice.

The Democratic Unionists, of course, are claiming foul because they no longer would have a veto over the process. They have been demanding that all of Britain must act in lockstep and leave together.

As usual, they are threatening the Orange Card and claiming with their Westminster vote they can block it.

But can they?

The fact is that the Tory right is so desperate to depart that betraying the unionists would come very easy to them.

The fact is that once upon a time the right-wing would always shelter the unionists and assure their writ ran in Northern Ireland.

But what about now?

The only legitimate way they can leave is to keep Ireland border-free. How that is achieved is of little concern in those Tory shires, only that Britain gets the hell out of Europe.

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Betraying the unionists is the only way Johnson could ever get his withdrawal demand and claim victory. It appears after the Varadkar talks, he may well shaft that unlovely lot the Ulster unionists to do so.

Contrary to the unionist argument, let’s not forget he has the democratic argument on his side, 56 percent of the people of Northern Ireland didn't want a return to a border. He is merely bowing to the democratic wish of the Northern Irish electorate.