Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are still battling to become Britain’s next Tory leader and Prime Minister, but whoever wins already has their work cut out for them as the current government stalks a ‘September window’ to reach a deal that could appease the British and Unionists oppose the much maligned Northern Ireland Protocol. MPs last week voted to pass the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill in the House of Commons, meaning the bill will now go to the House of Lords, where it is expected to meet stiff opposition from the upper house.
However, senior sources in Dublin have claimed the passage of the bill, and the pause before it is sent to the House of Lords, could offer a new British Prime Minister the opportunity to pursue a “reset”. relations with the bloc, which has now taken legal action against the UK for its unilateral moves to override the protocol.
A senior Irish official said: ‘If a new prime minister wanted to take the lead with the EU, some sort of reset moment, then there might be room in September.’
Another source said Brussels would be more willing to engage with a new government on potential compromises on how the protocol will work before the bill is signed into law.
The NI Protocol caused a political stalemate in Northern Ireland, with the DUP refusing to elect a new Stormont Speaker to its parliament unless a number of changes were made by the UK government.