No Brexit deal is ever good, the trick is to promote it so each side can swallow its inevitable, uncomfortable compromises.
Rishi Sunak has to win round the DUP and the European Analysis Group of Brexiteer backbenchers, who worry he has bought them out over the Northern Eire Protocol.
Ursula von der Leyen has to persuade EU capitals she hasn’t sacrificed their crimson traces to clinch the settlement with a UK that has sorely examined their endurance.
Mr Sunak and Mrs von der Leyen will each pin their hopes on “constructive ambiguity” to permit each of them to assert victory on the similar time.
The Prime Minister faces a more durable promote than the European Fee President after two years of tussles with Brussels.
Mrs von der Leyen’s choice to journey to London helps. It spares Mr Sunak the humiliation of changing into the most recent British prime minister to go cap in hand to Brussels for a deal.
British threats to tear up the Protocol had been met with warnings from Brussels that it might start a brutal commerce warfare.
Vladimir Putin’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine created the political house to do a Protocol deal.
Limitless battles with Brussels over bangers and Jubilee biscuits appeared far much less necessary than a united Western entrance and Europe’s safety.
Mr Sunak will stress that the brand new deal is an opportunity to lastly transfer Britain past the turbulent years of Brexit, and deal with the challenges of Russia and the financial system.
EU leaders, together with, crucially, Emmanuel Macron, are actually able to put Brexit to mattress and wish Britain taking part in its half within the response to Russian aggression.
Mrs von der Leyen will take the chance to underline the shared values that unite the UK and EU throughout her go to to construct the case for the deal.
Geopolitical and financial arguments might sway most Conservatives. However the brand new deal falls wanting DUP and ERG crimson traces, together with ending the jurisdiction of the European Court docket of Justice and software of EU legislation in Northern Eire.
In the meantime, the Fee will inform EU capitals its crimson traces over the European Court docket of Justice and its refusal to renegotiate the Protocol have held.
Rishi Sunak’s choice this week to definitively shelve the Northern Eire Protocol Invoice, which supplies ministers the facility to tear up the treaty, can even be chalked up as a win by Brussels.
The brand new Brexit deal doesn’t change a comma or full cease of the authorized textual content of the unique Protocol.
As a substitute the deal is a collection of agreements, which can sit individually to the unchanged unique treaty. Brussels will say the brand new agreements will make sure the Protocol is applied as agreed.
The UK will argue that the brand new deal supersedes the treaty and quantities to authorized adjustments of the Protocol and the way it works on the bottom.
A number of the new agreements shall be given power by choices within the UK-EU Joint Committee on the Protocol, that are legally binding.
This might additionally assist the DUP, who might declare that the Protocol has been “changed” as they demanded.
Mr Sunak will say he has repatriated powers to set state help, VAT and different taxes in Northern Eire from Brussels to Westminster, which shall be pitched as a significant EU concession.
He has additionally succeeded in eradicating numerous Irish Sea border checks on British items despatched to Northern Eire.
The Prime Minister and Mrs von der Leyen are more likely to additionally make a lot of the overseas funding alternatives for Northern Eire, which has distinctive twin entry to the UK and EU markets.
Mr Sunak and Mrs von der Leyen will hope in the present day’s rigorously choreographed gross sales pitch will win over the DUP and restore devolved authorities to Northern Eire.
However they could have to attend till Could, after local elections, earlier than the unionists are ready to again down.