Northern Ireland Protocol

Michael Brennan: As protocol row heats up, oldest and deepest fears revived

The dispute over Britain’s latest moves to nullify the protocol represents a huge and unwelcome difficulty for those trying to strengthen cross-community relations in Northern Ireland

If there is no executive in place at Stormont by November, then new Assembly elections will have to be called. Picture: Getty

“GFA RIP” was the slogan daubed on the walls of the 16-storey tower block in Larne when the operation of the Northern Ireland protocol became a political flashpoint.

The working-class loyalist town on the east coast of Antrim has become symbolic of the tensions being created by the protocol, 24 years on from the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. The protocol is designed to allow the North to stay in both the EU’s single ...