Boris Johnson sets another trap for NI unionism

There is plenty of talk about triggering article 16, but very little appetite to do it

September 9th, 2021: DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has warned that his party could collapse the Stormont Executive "within weeks" unless changes to the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol are made. Video: Reuters

A few weeks ago DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson put all of his party’s eggs into Boris Johnson’s basket. Having told his colleagues “we are totally opposed to the protocol as it presently exists, we will neither accept it nor will we work it”, he added: “Let me be clear – if the choice is ultimately between remaining in office or implementing the protocol in its present form, then the only option for any unionist Minister [in the NI Executive] would be to cease to hold such office.”

In other words, Donaldson was telling Johnson the price for leaving the protocol as it is will be collapse of the Executive, with no guarantee that it can be rebooted after an election. The last hiatus lasted from January 2017-2020 and we are now on the third crisis since then.

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