In a scathing opinion piece, Sydney Nash has called Mr Johnson a “lame duck” as he went on criticising the UK Government. The Government has been defending its plans to scrap parts of the Brexit deal for Northern Ireland – known as the protocol – which it negotiated with the European Union.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The majority of people in Northern Ireland believe that the protocol needs to change.”
In his piece on the issue for The Journal Mr Nash wrote: “Furthermore, while Johnson remains a lame duck, the UK government cannot govern.
“Even before what the pro-Johnson Daily Telegraph described as his “hollow” victory in last week’s vote of confidence, this government’s record on delivery was woeful.
“The chances of it successfully progressing a Bill as controversial as this while competing factions try to extract a pound of flesh from a fatally wounded Prime Minister, and simultaneously seek the promise of political riches from those eager to replace him, is minimal.”
The Government has published a Protocol Bill with plans to get rid of post-Brexit checks on goods from Great Britain destined for Northern Ireland and reduce the role of the European Court of Justice.
The EU, which published a plan to reduce checks in October 2021, says it will not renegotiate the protocol and is considering legal action.
Mr Nash continues: “What happens with this Bill in the coming months will ultimately depend on the ebb and flow of the Conservative Party leadership contest.
“During this, the Brexit absolutists and the few remaining pragmatists will jostle for position, but they will all take a hard-line on the Protocol – the absolutists because they believe that this is the only way to get what they want, and the pragmatists for fear of being branded Remainers.
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Mr Nash added: “The views of this UK government are well and truly set.
“The EU’s opinion of it is equally firm. Consequently, we are stuck, and will remain so until the politics in London changes and allows for an honest debate about the difficult trade-offs that are an inevitable consequence of leaving the EU.
“Perhaps a change in Conservative Party leader will prompt this, but I would not bet the house on it.”