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Therese Raphael

Boris Johnson Is Focused on the Wrong Problem in Northern Ireland

The bigger risk to stability and investment comes from uncertainty. The UK government is making that worse.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Hosts A Street Market In Downing Street
Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

Just as Britain and the European Union had found unity in helping Ukraine repel Vladimir Putin’s invasion, the UK government decided to pick a fight with Brussels over Northern Ireland.

In theory, the messy politics of Northern Ireland can be kept separate from the broader mission of “Global Britain,” as the post-Brexit mantra has it. In reality, spillover from a trade war would be hard to avoid. Indeed, the arrival this week of a US Congressional delegation concerned over the UK’s threat is a reminder of how closely President Biden follows the issue.