Brexit: Cummings claims No 10 always intended to ‘ditch’ parts of Northern Ireland protocol – live

Former adviser to Boris Johnson also claims PM did not understand what he was signing

  • EU ready to scrap most post-Brexit checks on British goods
  • What next for the Northern Ireland protocol?
  • Frost: failure to rip up protocol would be ‘historic misjudgment’

Leo Varadkar, who was Ireland’s taoiseach (PM) at the time the Northern Ireland protocol was negotiatated and who is now the tánaiste (deputy PM), has said Dominic Cummings’s comments (see 9.29am) are “very alarming” because they suggest Boris Johnson was negotiating “in bad faith”, my colleage Lisa O’Carroll reports.

Good morning. For the last four years politics in the UK in the approach to Christmas has been dominated by a Brexit crisis involving a negotiation with the EU. In 2017 it was all about whether the withdrawal talks had made “sufficient progress” to move to phase two. In 2018 it was all about the withdrawal agreement, and subsequently whether it would be passed by parliament. In 2019 it was all about Boris Johnson renegotiating that withdrawal agreement. And last year it was about the trade deal negotiation, which was only settled on Christmas Eve.

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