It’s not, because the UK is might possibly refuse a deal that treats Gib less favourably than the UK as a point of principal, whereas everyone who matters except maybe some people in Brussels who talk a lot about rules wants some kind of open border in NI.
An Irish deal might look something like this (and I haven’t thought this through deeply, just throwing ideas out)
- There are border crossings with CCTV monitoring and border control presense.
- You don’t have to stop and show papers, but suspicious vehicles might be stopped (as an intelligence lead attempt to detect and deter illegal immigration)
- Lorries and goods trains have to clear customs but a “pre-clearance” regime is in force for regular deliveries (i.e. most of them).
- UK and Ireland bilaterally allow each other’s citizens right to reside and work.
The suspect that the border doesn’t have to functionally prevent unauthorized migration; it just has to appear to have that capability sufficiently to qualify as a “hard” EU border.
The problem is only two points of views get any media play at all:
- There are no problems. The EU will give the UK everything it wants. Everything is fine friend Brexiteer.
- The problems are intractable, the UK is doomed. DOOMED.
So what you don’t see any of are suggestions for non-ideal solutions that both sides might actually go for.