Stephen Collins: Johnson’s unilateral breaking of NI protocol could go horribly wrong
Latest breach of trust by British government over protocol has potential to destroy trade deal with EU
British prime minister Boris Johnson: Doubts are growing again whether the EU can trust a government led by him to honour treaty obligations. Photograph: Scott Heppell/PA
The latest breach of trust by the British government over the Northern Ireland protocol has the potential to destroy the trade deal with the EU agreed over the Christmas holidays after long and tortuous negotiations. The collapse of the deal would have serious consequences on both sides of the Border but the biggest loser of all will be the UK itself.
It should be remembered that the deal has yet to be ratified by the European Parliament, which is due to formally vote on it at the end of this month. The casual breaking of the protocol could well prompt the parliament to reject the deal in its entirety or, at the very least, to defer ratification. In the meantime the EU Commission will investigate legal remedies.