Another idea from the EU is that the UK needn't pick its FINAL position from the famous slide on the different stages of EU collaboration yet.
The UK could for instance decide to just drop down one step (to the Norway+ model) by the end of October, thus honouring its promise to leave, while at the same time and due to the nature of this model, avoid having to sign up to the contentious issues surrounding the backstop contained within the WA.
It can then take its time to sort out whether it wants to remain at that stage, or drop down further on the ladder of integration with Europe, all while building a majority at home for whatever it takes in return to be able to take any such further step(s) down.
All those would have been pursuant to signing the WA, the whole point the reason for the backstop in the 1st place was that Brussels refused to negotiate the future relationship in parallel, all those possabile solutions do not take into account that if the UK want to move away from those in the future the backstop would apply.
Careful now: it seems that pretty much everything which says 'Withdrawal Agreement' on the lid, is currently unpalatable to the UK!
The CURRENT form of the WA clearly is, yet that came into being based on the notorious red lines set by the UK which pretty much moves the country straight from its current full EU membership status out to the outmost outer sphere of European integration!
However - and the EU has repeatedly said so in the past- the current WA is just 'the full option version' of any sort of WA that must be signed to accompany Britain's orderly withdrawal from the EU, yet it can be watered down again and certain provisions no longer needed can be taken out of it should the UK decide to drop some of its red lines on what type of Brexit it is going to persue, first.
Indeed, it's the UK who has pretty much made the current WA what it currently is: a very comprehensive set of very harsh conditions and commitments, to the point this full option version of the WA is no longer acceptable to the UK even.
Yet it needn't be that way!
Still remember the famous slide from Mr. Barnier with all the different options of integration the EU could offer the UK?
Well, just as each intermediate option comes with more EU rights and obligations than the Brexit the UK's government tried to persue unsuccessfully, each option also comes with less legal provisions required in the actual agreement to move to that stage: the more you move to the right in that slide however, the more contentious the agreement to do so seems to become, so the obvious thing to do is not go there for the time being, but rather pick a more achievable option from the shelves in Brussels then, isn't it?
The easiest thing to do for any British politician would be to say he's taking a PHASED approach to Brexit, and simply drop down one step NOW, which is to move to the Norway+ option. It would come with tons of advantages:
1/ it would allow the UK to finally leave the EU by the end of October
2/ the agreement to move to this step would require a pretty uncontentious WA only, which should pass the vote in parliament by a good majority
3/ it would save the GFA and thus the UK's reputation as a country which fully honours its international commitments
4/ it would respect the spirit of the ref.result in NI, while honouring the nationwide result (even the Scotts may feel somewhat respected, strenghten the UK again…)
5/ it would avoid the UK from going over the cliff edge unprepared
6/ further steps could be negotiated with the EU as a non-EU-member and be included in a future FTA... no more need to call the agreement a (second) WA any longer
Once the official withdrawal from the EU has been concluded and the UK is effectively enjoying a transition period (of unlimited nature even!) similiar to the one all fractions in the UK say would be welcome, the UK can figure out internally and completely at its own pace whether there's also sufficient domestic appetite to go down further on the ladder, for instance through a GE or why not another specific referendum and it might use the extra time from taking a phased approach to Brexit to come up with workable plans for each subsequent move after phase 1, as well as let the technogogy to underpin them, mature.
All of which can be included in far less contentious bilateral agreements which can even be included in a sweetening FTA with the EU, all at the same time!
You see, a face saving diplomatic solution isn't so difficult at all, it's just that British politicians should let go of the binary idea that there's something like a winner-takes-all approach to Brexit which is very unlike anything else in British politics (hence their failure to grasp this). Interestingly enough this is also what TM said in her last big speech as PM! If only she'd realised it a few years earlier….
The bottom line is this: Brexit is going to have to start with BRINO, or it will end in political turmoil and economic chaos!
And yes, there's no guarantee Brexit will not stall soon after BRINO, yet wasn't that pretty much what the referendum result already hinted at?
A relatively narrow majority for a one-size-suits-all type of withdrawal from the EU which thus also included people who voted for a BRINO only?