Protocol dilemma


Sir, – There has been a lot of commentary on the UK’s non-implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol and whether its actions are accidental, deliberate or part of a political Brexit strategy to annoy the EU using whatever mechanisms the UK has at its disposal.

In my view, there is a very deliberate strategy at play.

The British government is relying on the consent mechanism within the protocol which gives the Northern Ireland Assembly a decisive vote on its long-term application. This vote will occur in 2025, four years after the start of application of the protocol on January 1st, 2021. Despite cross-community support in Northern Ireland for the protocol, how easy might it be for the Assembly to vote to discontinue a protocol which has never properly been implemented in the first place? The longer the British obfuscation goes on without any EU action or penalties, the easier it will be to make permanent. – Yours, etc,



Co Kildare.

Sir, – Any first-year marketing student knows that there are a number of steps to be taken before launching a product. These are quite straightforward and are as follows. Step one is the need to ensure that the market requires the product. If affirmative, then design it and obtain an initial reaction from colleagues. Assuming that it has possibilities, step two is to widen the market research to be certain that its market acceptance will prove to be positive provided that certain amendments are made. The most difficult amendment must be tackled first and should that amendment not be possible the product should not be launched.

If the product’s creator is foolish enough to go ahead with the launch, he should not be surprised if it fails. Boris Johnson should have taken note of these obvious moves.

Is there any reason to suppose that he has learned from his mistakes? I think not. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 18.

A chara, – Boris Johnson’s tactical approach to the Northern Ireland protocol appears to be based on the assumption that the best way to beat EU bureaucracy is to make a UK problem an EU problem. While Joe Biden’s approach is different, he believes the best way to beat UK bureaucracy is to make an EU problem a UK problem. When elephants fight it’s the problem that gets trampled. – Is mise,



Co Dublin.