On Monday, the government introduced a bill that allows it to change parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which governs post-Brexit trade rules on the island of Ireland. On Tuesday, the EU started devising retaliatory legal action. Here come the new Brexit battles, with a potential trade war
in sight. Amongst the areas of contention are VAT changes and customs and food safety.
The government says it is acting to support political stability in Northern Ireland. The Democratic Unionist Party there doesn’t recognise the original Protocol, and refuses to get into a power-sharing agreement with Sinn Fein until it is overhauled.
Hard-line Brexiteers, meanwhile, are not convinced it goes far enough and will decide in the next few days whether to back it.
The bill might be found to breach international law, causing discontent among the One Nation Tories, even as the government tries to justify the legislation as a “necessity”.