The term ‘pariah state’ is not one to be thrown about lightly; it is reserved for countries ruled by groupings with little or no grasp of reality, currently as is the case in Britain.

Enter stage left the UK Conservative party and the ‘madness’ that is the Northern Ireland (NI) Protocol Bill.

But let’s not jump ahead of ourselves. Surely it’s worth analysing the detail contained within the aforementioned document before coming to any conclusions.

So here we go. It extends to 20 pages, contains a lot of superfluous waffle and where there should be reams of facts, the reader is left in a state of extreme disappointment.

The whole exercise that was followed through at Westminster earlier this week was, in my opinion, an absolute farce.

Britain playing politics with Northern Ireland

It suits the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson to play party politics with the NI Protocol right now. His priority is that of shoring up support within his base of Conservative MPs.

Does he really think that he is saving the Good Friday Agreement or putting pressure on the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to come back to Stormont?

I sense the answer to both of these questions is a very definite ‘no’.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is weighing up its response to all of this. Brussels has two options – to sit back and do nothing or to flex its muscles in a very meaningful way.

Border checks

The last six years have been marked by an agreement on the part of all those involved in the Brexit process to the effect that border posts will not be re-established on the island of Ireland.

But border checks would not be required for Brussels to simply announce, for example, that the UK dairy industry is not adhering to all required EU rules.

And if this were to happen, the flow of milk south across the Irish border – all 800 million litres of it on an annual basis – would stop instantly.

Concerns to this extent have already been flagged-up by the Northern Ireland Dairy Council.

And the same scenario could be played out, where beef, lamb and other food commodities are concerned.

The end result would be the absolute decimation of Northern Ireland’s farming industry.

Future for NI food sector

Such possibilities put the ardent protests of some consumers in Northern Ireland, unhappy that they can no longer procure certain food brands from UK supermarkets, into clear and sharp relief.

I get the sense though that Britain is simply using the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill as a bargaining chip to get more concessions from Brussels during a future negotiation process.  

Let’s hope this will be the eventual direction of travel. My only concern is that Brussels may get totally ‘hacked off’ with the entire project before that and start to play ‘hard ball’.

And under such circumstances, we could well find out that the EU has ‘zero tolerance’ for belligerent UK Brexiteers.