Deirdre Heenan: The protocol is the only real option, despite Britain’s fantasy protests

In his latest objection to the Brexit workaround for Northern Ireland, Boris Johnson is struggling to come to terms with the hard divorce from the EU which he so relentlessly pursued

Boris Johnson: the British prime minister has stopped short of suspending parts of the Northern Ireland protocol but he and his government continue to rail against it. Picture: Getty

There was considerable media speculation last week that the British government was planning to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol, which allows Britain or the EU to suspend part of the arrangements in extreme circumstances.

Boris Johnson may have stopped short of this dramatic step, but David Frost, his Brexit secretary, stated that it was clear that the “circumstances existed to justify the use of Article 16”, even if it was “not the ...