If the NI border is the major sticking point in the Brexit negotiations, why are both sides willing to risk no-deal?

2018-11-14 17:24:27

The news over the past few weeks have made a big thing about how the major sticking point in the Brexit negotiations is the 'backstop' over the Northern Irish border, with both sides, apparently, considering it vital that there is no hard border there (for obvious reasons).

Why, therefore, are both sides so willing to risk a no-deal scenario, which would surely result in a very hard border, as everything would have to be checked under WTO rules?

I can see that the UK govt stance is somewhat hamstrung by half of the Conservative party, but what's stopping the EU side from offering some kind of compromise?