The National:

ONLOOKERS would be forgiven for concluding that the entire Brexit process has been a devious plot to install Boris Johnson in power.

Having helped whip up anti-EU rhetoric with some highly dubious reports during his time as a Brussels correspondent, Johnson bided his time until things were so bad Tory members actually considered appointing him as their leader.

Beating off a field of candidates with a talent shortage the likes of which has not seen since the last UK Eurovision auditions, Johnson is now the Brexiteer’s King Arthur.

But he has a problem. For time ad infinitum, the EU has been insisting it will not make changes to the backstop – the contingency plan to keep a soft border with Ireland in all circumstances – which Tory Breixteers so vehemently oppose.

READ MORE: Brexit: EU chief immediately slaps down Boris Johnson backstop plan

So how exactly does Johnson intend to pull the sword from the stone?

He has laid out his plans in a letters to European Council president Donald Tusk. The Prime Minister writes that while he wants the UK to leave the EU with a deal, he could not support any withdrawal agreement that "locks the UK, potentially indefinitely, into an international treaty which will bind us into a customs union and which applies large areas of single market legislation in Northern Ireland".

The National: European Council president Donald Tusk was the recipient of Johnson's masterplanEuropean Council president Donald Tusk was the recipient of Johnson's masterplan

In other words, he confirmed his aim of removing the backstop from the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement.

Here are five highlights from the PM’s explanation of how he intends to pull this off.

1. “The changes we seek relate primarily to the backstop. The problems with the backstop run much deeper than the simple political reality that it has three times been rejected by the House of Commons. The truth is that it is simply unviable.”

Boris Johnson is not a fan of the backstop, that much is clear. His position is somewhat undermined, however, when we cast our minds back to December 2017. It was then that serving foreign secretary Johnson signed off on the proposal as part of Theresa May’s withdrawal deal – for which he even praised her “determination”. Fast-forward to July 2018 and Johnson had resigned from the Cabinet over May’s Chequers proposal, with the backstop chief among his complaints.

2. “It places a substantial regulatory border, rooted in that treaty, between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. The treaty provides no sovereign means of exiting unilaterally and affords the people of Northern Ireland no influence over the legislation which applies to them. That is why the backstop is anti-democratic.”

So the backstop is “anti-democratic” because the people of Northern Ireland have no say in it’s implementation. If you’re struggling to grasp the concept, think of Brexit. The people of Northern Ireland – and Scotland – voted to remain in the EU but are being dragged out nonetheless. See how unfair that is?

3. “Accordingly, as I said in Parliament on 25 July, we cannot continue to endorse the specific commitment, in paragraph 49 of the December 2017 Joint Report, to 'full alignment' with wide areas of the single market and the customs union. That cannot be the basis for the future relationship and it is not a basis for the sound governance of Northern Ireland.”

As Johnson points out, he doesn’t like the idea of “full alignment”. Which is strange since the joint report was published in December 2017, a full seven months before he resigned as foreign secretary.

READ MORE: Johnson rejects call to cut short recess despite No-Deal fears

4. “We must also respect the aim to find 'flexible and creative' solutions to the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland. That means that alternative ways of managing the customs and regulatory differences contingent on Brexit must be explored.”

So what exactly is his solution? Perhaps an imaginary technological one which has proved so popular with Brexiteers. But so confident is Johnson of finding a solution to the backstop problem that he doesn’t even bother to propose one.

Later he adds: “The UK and the EU have already agreed that 'alternative arrangements' can be part of the solution. Accordingly: I propose that the backstop should be replaced with a commitment to put in place such arrangements as far as possible before the end of the transition period, as part of the future relationship.”

The National: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar quickly shot down Johnson's proposalsTaoiseach Leo Varadkar quickly shot down Johnson's proposals

Despite this crystal clear explanation, not everyone has been taken in. In fact, Ireland has already rejected the idea of scrapping the backstop. In a phone call with Johnson on Monday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar "reiterated the EU27 position that the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be reopened" and stressed the importance of the "legally operable guarantee" to prevent a hard border. Hard lines Johnson.

5. “I am equally confident that our Parliament would be able to act rapidly if we were able to reach a satisfactory agreement which did not contain the 'backstop'.”

Johnson is so keen for Parliament to act fast when the EU inevitably decides to reverse it’s irreversible position on the backstop that he has insisted on ensuring MPs are well-rested with a full summer recess – having rejected demands to recall Parliament amid heightened No-Deal concerns.