DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Why Rishi Sunak Would Regret Selling Unionism
Like a tightrope walker without a safety net, Rishi Sunak is trying to inch his way towards a solution to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Progress is slow and the way forward remains fraught with danger. But he has to keep his nerve and persevere.
The protocol has always been a chimera, requiring customs controls on goods being transported from Britain to Northern Ireland, creating a virtual border in the Irish Sea.
A bad situation was made worse by the nitpicking bureaucracy demanded by Brussels, which bound British firms in an expensive bureaucratic tangle.
The Democratic Unionists understandably saw the Protocol as undermining Northern Ireland’s position within the UK and withdrew from the Stormont Assembly as a result. There has been no decentralized government for more than a year.
DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Like a tightrope walker without a safety net, Rishi Sunak is trying to inch his way towards a solution to the Northern Ireland Protocol
The news from Downing Street is now that a deal is near. Brussels has agreed to end pettiness by creating green and red channels for incoming goods – green for those bound for Northern Ireland only and requiring little or no paperwork, red for those being transported to destinations within the EU and need more.
This appeases the DUP to some extent, but it has other objections, not the least of which is the EU’s insistence that the European Court of Justice should be the final arbiter of trade disputes.
If there isn’t an independent arbitration system in place it’s hard to imagine the DUP coming on board as otherwise they would be treated differently than the rest of the UK.
If they reject the deal, many Tory backbenchers will follow suit. The only way Mr Sunak could then push it through would be to support the opposition.
Labor would like to do so – for two reasons. First, she despises unionism and longs for a united Ireland. Second, it wants the whole of the UK back in the EU’s sphere of influence, and this could be the thin end of that wedge.
However, if the prime minister were unwise enough to go down this path, his own party would never forgive him.
And if the European Court retained jurisdiction over Northern Ireland, the concept of regaining control would become meaningless. Mr. Sunak must make independent arbitration of trade disputes an absolute red line.
It would be an exaggeration to say that the DUP has vetoed this deal. But recklessly ignoring their legitimate concerns could be political suicide for Mr. Sunak. He must tread carefully.
Put patients last
How sad that young doctors from the British Medical Association are calling their decision to hold a three-day strike next month “a huge step forward”.
For all their self-serving babble about “having no choice,” they made a conscious decision to risk patients’ lives in order to achieve a 30 percent wage claim.
By refusing to discuss this completely unrealistic demand, they accuse the government of being “reckless”. If you want to see a real example of recklessness, you should look in the mirror.
DAILY MAIL COMMENT: How sad that young doctors from the British Medical Association should describe their decision to stage a three-day strike next month as “a huge step forward”.
WFH is holding us back
The Resolution Foundation offers meaningful suggestions on how the inactive can get back into the workforce – by providing support and incentives to keep mothers, older workers and people with disabilities in work or to help them find others.
However, one of the biggest obstacles to growth is the fact that so many employees are still working from home. Our economic recovery will only pick up speed when the British white collar worker returns to the office. Ministers could start the process by bringing their own officers back to Whitehall.
DAILY MAIL COMMENT: One of the biggest obstacles to growth is the fact that so many employees are still working from home (file image)
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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