Those of us raised on the rich diet of Irish politics know a stroke when we see one, and Boris Johnson's temporary suspension of the UK parliament is indeed a stroke.

It might also work, and deliver a British exit from the EU with a deal.

Of course all the claims that the suspension - or proroguing - of the parliament is normal are utter nonsense.

Prime Minister Johnson grappled manfully to suppress a grin that threatened to be as broad as the Grand Canyon when he told a television interviewer on Tuesday that it was simply needed to prepare a new legislative agenda.

Yes they do have formal ending and even more formal opening of parliamentary sessions in the UK system, but they can be done with just a few days between the end of one session and the beginning of a new one, not five weeks.

Why not do it in July on the day Boris Johnson became Prime Minister? Tactics.

A senior Tory MP and big time Boris Johnson supporter I spoke to back in July, before the leadership contest had ended, offered some thoughts then about a suspension of the parliament.

He used the same lines we heard this week; how it was already the longest session in 400 years, how the session had to end sooner or later, how a new PM needed a formal opening of parliament to set out his new legislative priorities.

He said it was not going to happen over the summer because the Queen didn’t want to be involved in a state opening of Parliament until the autumn (a summer in Balmoral beckoned), and it takes a bit of time to shine up the gold coach, the cavalry helmets and black rod’s, er..., black rod.

So this suspension was always on the cards, and holding it back to the autumn made practical as well as political sense, giving the prime minister a tactical weapon in his struggle with an unruly parliament where he has a working majority of one MP.

No, of course they don’t need five weeks to put the practical arrangements in place. The government spin is that the MPs were going to take off for three weeks for conferences, so adding a little extra time for the suspension would only cost four or five sitting days.

But the MPs had not actually voted for a suspension for conference season, and may well have opted to stay in session. (For Irish observers, used to the weekend Ard Fheis, the notion of suspending parliament for three weeks to have party conferences, which take place in the middle of the week, seems crazy with the Brexit countdown clock so close to zero).

So let's be under no illusions - the British government has shut down the UK parliament to get a bit of peace and quiet.  

The inhabitants of Downing Street take the view that the constant state of political crisis in the Palace of Westminster, with its attendant street theatre and international media coverage, is undermining the credibility of British ministers in their efforts to get some sort of change to the Withdrawal Treaty from the EU.

They are probably right about that. From an EU perspective, why make any concessions to the British if they cannot offer a reasonable chance of getting the changed treaty through the parliament?

A period of silence might, just might, enable them to concentrate on rolling a package together with the European Commission that might, just might, squeak through the House of Commons in the days after the European Council (assuming they approve) in mid-October.

If the European Parliament can get its ratification vote away immediately after the British, then bob's your uncle! - Brexit with a deal by 31 October. At least that’s the theory.

What kind of a deal might be acceptable to the EU that might be rallied around and bullied through the House of Commons in a matter of days? It's hard to see anything other than the existing Withdrawal Agreement, minus the backstop.

At least, minus the backstop as it is currently written, the one that includes all of the UK in the customs union and regulatory alignment until something better is negotiated.

The one that Theresa May insisted on, and which the EU reluctantly agreed to. But a backstop is still needed to deal with all the well known Northern Ireland related matters. And the only backstop that does that is the original "plan A" backstop that only applied to Northern Ireland.

Yes, we know about the Unionist objections to a "border in the Irish Sea", but there may be a way around that too, and that way runs through Sunderland.

That’s where the Nissan Car plant is and it relies on unimpeded supply chains, importing from the EU about 70% of the components needed to build cars, around 80% of which are then exported to the EU.

As Professor John Fitzgerald pointed out in Friday’s Irish Times, the British government is exploring ways of establishing some "Free Ports" in a number of locations in Britain to ease the plight of import dependent industries such as car manufacturers.

The free port designation means there would be no customs formalities or tariffs on items imported into the zones for processing and then onward shipping.

But anything that leaves the free port for the rest of the UK is subject to customs and any taxes that apply.

Which means internal borders between the free ports and the rest of the UK.

If such internal customs controls are fine for parts of England and the rest of the UK, why are they not fine between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK?

Effectively it would mean designating the whole of Northern Ireland a sort of "free port", but one that also benefits from being effectively part of the EU single market.

With this "best of both worlds" status, Northern Ireland could become an extremely attractive place to do business.

The DUP may well object to this - it has long objected to anything that is seen to put a border between it and the rest of the UK, despite opinion poll findings that a sizeable majority in the North support the idea of the backstop (or a backstop).

One side effect of the suspension of parliament and the beginning of a new session is that the DUP's deal with the Conservatives has to be renegotiated for another period. This provides a formal setting in which the possibility of DUP support for a reworked backstop can be explored.

If the DUP were to remain with their current policy, Mr Johnson can try to get votes across the floor of the house from Labour MPs who support Brexit. This group can claim some justification for crossing the floor for a vote by citing their own leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who said this week he would do everything within his power to stop a no-deal Brexit.

Well, as many have pointed out, the easiest way to stop a no-deal Brexit is to vote for the Withdrawal Agreement.

And because of the suspension and beginning of a new parliamentary session (announced with all the pageantry of a state opening of parliament - a good way to put some space between the Johnson administration and the tired, bedraggled memories of the May era), the Withdrawal Treaty bill starts afresh.

Yes there is still the problem of the European Research Group, the hard core pro-Brexit faction in the Tory party, some of whom have said they don’t want any deal with the EU and will vote against any Withdrawal Treaty, backstop or no backstop.

Perhaps some will die in this particular ditch, but remember, the former leader of the ERG, Jacob Rees-Mogg now sits in the cabinet room as leader of the House of Commons.  

And who did Boris Johnson send to ask the Queen to suspend the Parliament? That’s right, Mr Rees-Mogg, now firmly ensconced inside the tent of a government whose leader was telling everyone at the G7 summit that he wants to leave the EU with a deal. Hence, the talk from London about stepping up contacts with Task Force 50, having twice weekly meetings from next week on.

The elements are being put in place, and the obstacles cleared away, for one final big push.  After all, Boris Johnson has said for months that it will all come down to the last minute.

But before we get anywhere near that point, which is based on more assumptions than the arguments for extra-terrestrial life, we have to get through next week in the House of Commons.  

Then the opponents of a no deal Brexit will attempt to pass legislation banning the government from leaving the EU without a deal.  

It’s a pretty tall order - they have to pass legislation through both houses of parliament and obtain the royal assent in four or five sitting days, in the teeth of opposition from the government.  

They need to get all of the opposition parties and independents to work together and they only had their first meeting about this on Tuesday. And they need to get some government MPs to side with them (and they need more Tory dissidents than opposition defectors, who may sit on their hands or go in the opposite direction. There are hard core leavers on both sides of the house).

Calculating the numbers is as difficult as it has been since last November, when the Withdrawal Agreement was signed off.

There is also a faint possibility that there may be a move to pull down the government next week. But it's very faint.

Mr Corbyn and Jo Swinson, the new leader of Liberal Democrats, both refused to say they would go for a confidence motion during the week, concentrating on stopping a no-deal Brexit. Which sounds like they will want to keep playing the game until late October, to see if a deal is possible.

All of which points to a week or so of sound and fury at Westminster, followed by a five-week "break" for intensive politics of the backroom, wheeler-dealer, arm twisting, threats and inducements sort, followed by a European Council, and then a final parliamentary showdown in the dying days of October.

And after all that physically and emotionally draining political drama, what better way to settle things down again than a pre-Christmas general election.