Daniel Murray: Fear and optimism as British soften stance ahead of protocol negotiations

Talks have resumed on the Northern Ireland protocol – and while Britain and the EU are sounding tentative notes of compromise, it is clear that time is running out to agree a solution

Liz Truss: the British prime minister has been more focused on her own domestic political ambitions than the Northern Ireland protocol. Picture: Getty

At the beginning of 2019, the Irish government was coming under increasing pressure from Germany and the EU to explain how it would protect the bloc’s single market in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

At the time, Theresa May’s Brexit deal looked increasingly unlikely to get through the British parliament, and the prospect of no deal was becoming a reality. The problem was that such a scenario would almost certainly lead to customs borders ...