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Eilis O'Hanlon

Nationalists hope Covid-19 will derail Brexit... unionists shouldn't make their job easier by opposing customs checks that hardly anyone will notice

Eilis O'Hanlon


Unless they're careful, they could end up doing more damage to the Union by seeking to undo the protocol than could ever be done by the protocol itself, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

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An aerial view of Belfast Port

An aerial view of Belfast Port

Jim Allister

Jim Allister

Jamie Bryson

Jamie Bryson

An aerial view of Belfast Port

The last thing Northern Ireland needs right now is another row about Brexit. One of the few reassuring things about Covid-19 is that it's reminded people of what really matters. In the words of Nana Akufo-Addo, president of the Republic of Ghana: "We know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life." The same goes for Brexit.

Most problems associated with leaving the EU are fixable, with good will. What we don't know is how to put the Humpty Dumpty of normal politics in Northern Ireland together again if petty squabbles over what customs arrangements should be in place next year are allowed to drag us right back to square one.

Some unionists appear to want to risk it, anyway, after the British Government finally conceded that Northern Ireland would, in certain regards, be treated differently than the rest of the UK once the transition period ends.