So will the Northern Ireland situation escalate out of control? Will the streets be alive with the fires of red hot Ulstermen? Or will the whole thing collapse into where it should always have been – petty bickering and political fudge? My guess is very much the latter because in truth that is where it is in the best interest of everyone concerned: Britain, the European Union (EU) and the Republic of Ireland will want it to be resolved and there is still plenty of wiggle room for all sides to claim some sort of victory.
Already many of the supermarket chains in Northern Ireland are adapting to the new situation and sourcing their produce within the island or Ireland and whilst this sending the fringe unionists mad it would seem that most or their fellow countrymen are shrugging their collective shoulders and getting on with life.
Perhaps the bigger problem for the EU to address will be the probable Britain Australia trade deal. The worry for the EU will not be the farming deal (Quick tip – anything that has a 15 year lead time isn’t worth the paper it is written on as so many things can happen in 15 years so holding nations to a treaty signed 15 years previous is pointless.). No the real thing that should have the EU worrying is the likelihood that Australian wine will be able to be consumed within Britain without any tariffs . Britain is the largest wine importer in the world and currently France and Italy have 63% of the import trade by value (£) and the Australians have only 13%. How long will that last once tariffs are removed between Australia and Britain and suddenly Australian wine is significantly cheaper? Should this come about expect some very unhappy wine growers in France starting to kick up a fuss – just when President Macron is trying to get reelected. Suddenly sausages seem so last year.