Bumbling bluffer or determined iconoclast? Which Boris Johnson is the EU facing?

Analysis: The live possibility that the UK prime minister might follow through on his threats gives Brussels and Dublin plenty to ponder

Boris Johnson moved to prorogue the House of Commons for five weeks this time last year, showing he is unafraid to provoke fierce criticism. Picture: Getty

Is Boris bluffing or does he really mean it this time?

Reports that the British government is drawing up legislation that would tear up key parts of last year’s Withdrawal Agreement - particularly the Northern Ireland protocol - have been greeted with understandable alarm in both Dublin and Brussels.

The protocol, after all, was supposed to ensure that a hard border would be avoided on this island and was intended to apply even if a ...