The Framework represents the defeat of the anti-Protocol campaign. It restates the essential core of the Protocol’s outlines. The changes it makes are a rationalisation of the outstanding economic issues from the Protocol which will benefit the economy and majority of people in the north.
Barring some dramatic and unforeseen development, Sinn Féin is on course to be the largest party and win the First Minister’s position. This would be an historic development, completely shocking to Unionism and undermining British governance in Ireland.
The Tories are seeking to overturn the NI Protocol and are making proposals to the EU that have already been rejected in the past negotiations. A complete disavowal by Labour of the government’s approach is necessary, but has not been forthcoming.
Despite the Labour Party laying claim to the GFA as one of its greatest modern achievements, Keir Starmer and his front bench are acting in concert with the Tories and threatening to undermine both peace and progress in Ireland.
The fundamental reason for the turmoil in the north of Ireland and in the main party of Unionism is the outcome of Brexit and the NI Protocol which was part of it. These change the relationship with Britain – the north of Ireland is effectively in the same customs and trade bloc with the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the EU, while there is now a customs border between Britain and Ireland as a whole.