It has been obvious to many, for over a year, that the plans to leave the EU would necessitate the UK having a unique recipe for trading with the mainland. They skirted the issue with a ‘Canada like deal’ and a ‘Norway like deal’ but to keep faith with the Good Friday Agreement and in the long term keep the union together with Scotland, the UK needed a specific deal.
This is what is now going to be thrashed out with the EU based on the plan put forward by Teresa May yesterday. Initially the EU will reject cherry-picking the rules and the fight will revolve around whether they can keep other countries from seceding if they are too lenient. On the other hand they will be relieved there is no real Brexit.