Northern Ireland Protocol: deal on the horizon?
Just over three years after Brexit a solution to the Northern Ireland question is emerging. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak presented the outlines of a new deal with the EU on Northern Ireland's status to the leaders of all the major parties in Northern Ireland on Friday. Commentators are anxious for the issue to be resolved.
Agreement would be liberating for Sunak
A settlement of the dispute with the EU would give the British Conservatives a much-needed boost, the Irish Examiner comments:
“If Sunak can get a deal through, he will have had a good week. The departure of Nicola Sturgeon has ensured Scottish independence goes on the long list, most probably for the rest of this decade. A settlement in the North will allow him to concentrate on other areas with which he is more comfortable. Given the Conservative goose is cooked for the next election his best chance at damage limitation is to manage the economy more effectively.”
Brexiteers are those who need a deal most
EU-sceptical Conservatives like former Prime Minister Boris Johnson should not try to prevent a deal, warns ex-Foreign Secretary William Hague in The Times:
“Ultimately wrecking a deal would be a huge error. For Conservatives it would mean they are incapable of putting Brexit arguments behind them, adding to Labour's attacks at the next election and steadily discrediting the entire project of leaving the EU. ...Those who are most reluctant about a deal are ironically the people who need it the most, if something positive is to be made of Brexit and Northern Ireland kept within the United Kingdom.”