Business Post's View

Editorial: Brussels and London must work together to avoid a trade war

Northern Irish businesses have benefited from the protocol, but the political aspect of the agreement, specifically unionist unhappiness at checks in the Irish Sea, calls for joint action by Europe and the British

Boris Johnson described the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill as ‘not a big deal’, but the EU did not share this view and re-launched its legal action against the British government. Picture: Getty

The Northern Ireland protocol was always intended to be a damage limitation exercise. The British government would not agree to staying within the EU’s customs union, which would have been the easiest way of ensuring hassle-free trade between the island of Ireland and Britain.

So the Northern Ireland protocol was introduced as a last-minute fix to put the customs border down the Irish Sea instead.

It prevented a hard border on the island of Ireland ...