It is constantly claimed that the purpose of the Irish protocol is to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, but that is a lie.

The real purpose is to disrupt the existing economic integration between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and instead promote integration between the province and the Irish Republic, and the chosen mechanism for that purpose is to keep the province under EU economic control.

So not only must all the goods brought into Northern Ireland conform to EU requirements, so too must all the goods produced in the province, and to enforce that there must be checks on the latter at production and distribution sites, as well as checks on the former at points of entry. 

If it was just a question of protecting the EU Single Market from non-compliant goods being carried across the land border, then it would be sufficient to apply EU checks and controls only on those exported goods, not on all the imported goods and all the locally produced goods.

So why on Earth did self-proclaimed unionist Boris Johnson go along with this transparent lie?

Because in the autumn of 2017 the Irish government made it clear, publicly, that otherwise it would veto any special trade deal between the EU and the UK.

And we saw last November how easily Boris Johnson was cowed by the threat that the EU could terminate the whole trade treaty if he activated Article 16 to suspend the operation of parts of the protocol.

This comment is from Bruges Group Member Dr D R Cooper and first appeared in The Newsletter