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/
David Davis has sought to close a potential Brexit rift with Ireland over his claim that the first-stage deal agreed last week was a statement of intent. The Brexit secretary said his use of words on Sunday was meant to convey that the deal was stronger than merely being legally enforceable ... “I said this was a statement of intent, which was much more than just legally enforceable,” he said. “Of course it’s legally enforceable under the withdrawal agreement, but even if that didn’t happen for some reason, if something went wrong, we would still be seeking to provide a frictionless, invisible border with Ireland. I was making the point it was much more than what’s just in the treaty, it’s what we want to do anyway.”