David Davis caused confusion and some alarm in Dublin when he said that the first-stage Brexit deal was a 'statement of intent'. He has now sought to clarify that he meant that the deal was 'much more than legally enforceable', suggesting that 'even if [the withdrawal agreement] didn't happen ... we would still be seeking to provide a frictionless, invisible border with Ireland'.

But this seems to skate over the point that the Irish border is also the EU's external border and therefore, in the absence of a withdrawal agreement with the EU, it will not be possible to provide a frictionless, invisible border. More analysis of the first-stage deal here: https://www.bdb-law.co.uk/blogs/great-repeal-bill/29-great-repeal-bill-good-morning-good-morning/