That protocol

Image thanks to podtail

A huge ‘hats off’ to Sunak. Yes, you read that right. Whilst we should never have been here in the first place, the renegotiation of the Northern Ireland Protocol is welcome news. It signals the start of a  more mature relationship with the EU, where each side appears to have come to the table willing to address the issues as they see them.

There is still a long long way to go but at least it’s a start.

This is in marked contrast to Sunak’s previous two Prime Ministers who seemed hell bent on poking a hornet’s nest with a stick. It also sees the dumping of Johnson’s ludicrous legislation to override the agreement and breach international law. It puts to bed once and for all any notion that Johnson’s deal was ever oven ready. I remain convinced that he never actually read his own agreement.

It still has to get through Parliament however and I understand that a vote is to follow. It will get through as Labour has committed to supporting it but Sunak will not want to get his legislation onto the statute only with the help of the opposition.

This ‘breakthrough’ demonstrates something we have always known. Quiet diplomacy is the only way to create long term meaningful relationships with other countries and trading blocs. All of the work was done behind the scenes and out of the glare of the press and social media. Again this is in stark contrast to the very public and threatening posturing of his predecessors.

There is more good news. Sunak’s approach has once again exposed Johnson for the charlatan he is. He sees himself as the saviour of the Tory party who will one day ride on on a white stallion to lead it once again to greatness. His guns have been spiked. In a similar vein the ironically named European Research Group has been wrong footed and left floundering to find its voice. This could well spell the end of this poisonous group.

If he pulls it off then it will be quite an achievement. Brexit is still a rubbish idea and Sunak’s comments about Northern Ireland’s unique trading position suggest he has his doubts as well.

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