Editorial: Amid a chorus of voices in Northern Ireland who tell unionists to ignore Irish Sea border, it was Suella Braverman who demanded action against it

​News Letter editorial on Wednesday November 15 2023:
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Suella Braverman yesterday issued one of the most vicious ministerial resignation letters in modern British political history.​

The sacked home secretary, in her letter to Rishi Sunak, described him as having “repeatedly failed to deliver on every single one of [a number of] key policies” that Mr Sunak had agreed to implement when he secured Ms Braverman’s support for the Tory leadership.

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It is one matter whether or not she did have an agreement with Mr Sunak to support him, whether he breached it and what penalty should prevail for her refusing to incorporate changes requested by Downing Street to her article in The Times about the policing of pro Palestinian marches. Lord Howard, the former Tory leader, has already accused Ms Braverman of insubordination for not doing so. It is another matter whether Ms Braverman is right on the issues in which she criticises the prime minister. She is certainly right to be outraged at immigration and the risk of Strasbourg thwarting UK plans to control it. And while Mr Sunak’s response to the Hamas mass murder of Jews was flawless, of unwavering support for Israel, Ms Braverman is further right to be outraged at the hopeless police response to weekly displays of Islamic hate in UK cities..

There is another extraordinary paragraph in her letter though. She said Mr Sunak agreed to deliver the Northern Ireland Protocol and Retained EU Law Bills.

Here in Northern Ireland itself the Irish Sea border is ignored by influential public figures or institutions, amid a chorus of demands that unionists just ignore the internal UK barrier and return to Stormont. Yet it was Ms Braverman, rather than pressure from Ulster, who was tying Mr Sunak to implementation of the (good but almost forgotten) NI Protocol Bill.

For all her tactical and behavioural flaws, Ms Braverman has been vindicated in key policy areas.