This Brexit deal still won’t ‘get it done’ – only a referendum can do that | Polly Toynbee

These proposals are unlikely to pass the Commons. They should be put to a public vote that can finally settle the impasse

The red hand of Ulster says no. Their “blood-red line” has been crossed by putting a hard customs border down the Irish Sea, dividing them from the rest of the UK. They have lost the veto they wanted, reduced to a vote only held four years after the dual customs union comes into effect, aligned with the EU – and even then, they would have to wait for another two-year cooling-off period.

These devilishly good DUP negotiators usually succeed because their No Surrender reputation has the other side of the table believing their stony faces are unmovable. But this time it looks as though Boris Johnson has thrown them under another of his mendacious buses. Of course this could be a last-minute DUP bluff. There are rumours not only of a new medical school and a motorway, but also a daintily gift-wrapped “peace fund”, paid by the UK with EU contributions via the Irish government. However, the biblically well-versed DUP won’t be trading their birthright for that mess of pottage.

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