Northern Ireland

Deirdre Heenan: Can Sunak pull a protocol deal out of the hat?

As the British Tory leadership softens its stance and reaches towards a compromise solution with Europe, the DUP may regret its mantra of ‘not an inch’

Last Monday, news of a breakthrough on the long-standing, acrimonious dispute over the Northern Ireland protocol was greeted with cautious optimism. Diplomats and politicians were upbeat. After months of deadlock, the EU and UK announced a tentative deal on data sharing that had the potential to address some of the seemingly intractable issues over the North’s post-Brexit trading relations.

In a joint statement, the talks were described as “cordial and constructive”. James Cleverly, the British ...