No real sense that Tory leadership contenders have fully grasped Brexit problems

As the race to become the new Tory leader - and British prime minister - intensifies, there is no great sense that the main contenders have a sensible, workable, fully thought through plan to resolve the Irish border issue and leave the European Union in an orderly fashion by October 31 this year.

Indeed, some seem to think they can go back to Brussels and come up with a better deal than the one Theresa May spent two tortuous years negotiating and which she failed to improve on after a series of humiliating defeats in the House of Commons.

Michel Barnier has already said the deal struck with Mrs May is the only one on the table and `a new prime minister will not change the problem.'

However, the ideas being put forward by the long list of Tory leadership contenders show they have not fully grasped the magnitude of the problem or the fact that it cannot be solved by taking a harder line with Brussels, proroguing Parliament or throwing money at the Irish border.

Home secretary Sajid Javid is offering to pay the Republic for new alternative arrangements on the border and is prepared to stump up 'hundreds of millions' to fund technological solutions.

Environment secretary Michael Gove has seen his campaign overshadowed by the revelation he took cocaine twenty years ago when he was a journalist, while at the same time writing a comment piece calling for tougher action on middle class drug use.

His plan for delivering Brexit is to 'have a full stop to the backstop' while advocating a Canada-style free trade agreement.

Meanwhile, frontrunner Boris Johnson would scrap the backstop, something the EU has so far refused to do, and is prepared to leave on October 31, 'deal or no deal.'

As we watch Tory hopefuls come up with wild notions, over simplified solutions and threats to leave Europe without a deal, there will be no great confidence that a new prime minister will do any better than Mrs May in resolving the Brexit conundrum.