The tension between the EU and the UK remains high over the ongoing stalemate surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol, with Brussels seeking any opportunity to undermine British credibility during negotiations. The European Union has used its position within the talks to blackmail Britain into caving in over the Protocol by using threats of a costly trade war with London.
For the EU, the NI Protocol is a vital piece of legislation when dealing with the UK, in particular as it provided the block with an opportunity to impose customs checks on the border.
However, Unionist communities in Northern Ireland are deeply opposed to the Protocol and have vowed to resort to “guerrilla” tactics to protect their interests.
According to one analyst, the Protocol is already broken due to the Unionist opposition to the temporary deal, hence why Brussels may be wrong in using it as leverage.
Respected business journalist and commentator Alistair Heath said: “The Protocol is broken.
“It was always the product of an unequal treaty, a monstrously unjust imperialistic blueprint imposed, Versailles-style, on Brexit Britain, and agreed to only under duress.
“The sequencing of the negotiations was the result of a series of grievous tactical, strategic and ideological errors by Theresa May.”
Mr Heath believed Boris Johnson was forced to sign the deal or be subjected to a nasty trade war with the EU.
However, Mr Heath believes the time has come for Britain to fight back against the EU.
The analyst believes should the UK be forced to trigger Article 16 of the Withdrawal Agreement, and tear up the NI Protocol, Britain must then be prepared to hit back at the EU by using its own financial capacity.
He said: “An emergency Budget would be required, perhaps at only a few days’ notice.
“Rishi Sunak would need to devise a plan for Britain to stay competitive regardless of what the EU throws at us.
“That should mean scrapping the planned hike in corporation tax, no windfall tax, making all investment fully, permanently and immediately tax-deductible, drastically deregulating parts of the City (including scrapping the bonus cap), cutting income tax, freer trade with the rest of the world and, above all, dusting out all the plans to turn Britain into something resembling a Singapore-on-Thames.”
He ends: “There is a good chance Brussels will compromise: the European economies are suffering from all the same woes as Britain.
“Germany is staring into the abyss as a result of its dependence on Russian gas. The geopolitical dynamics have shifted even more profoundly.
“They don’t realise it yet, but France and Germany no longer enjoy moral leadership within Europe as a result of their performance during the Ukraine crisis.
“Britain will need to make it clear to its European allies that they will be expected to do all in their power to help stave off the threat of crippling trade sanctions.
“But if despite everything, France, Germany and Brussels get their way and the EU goes hostile, we will need to stand ready with our very own economic fireworks.”
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With talks still ongoing as to where to head next, both parties have used open and frank language as to why the NI Protocol talks are stalling.
The EU has accused Britain of “dragging its feet” whilst Britain has hit back saying the EU “doesn’t care about the people of Northern Ireland.”