SINN Fein’s success in Northern Ireland (NI) is time for concern.
Their Assembly majority of just three seats is slim, but gives the Republican party the right to nominate the First Minister.
Under the power sharing agreement, as runners up, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) should now provide the Deputy First Minister.
However, they’ve refused to participate, meaning that Stormont - already suspended six times since the 1998 Belfast Agreement – has no executive powers.
Since Brexit, Ulster has struggled under the Northern Irish Protocol (NIP), which imposes a raft of onerous regulations on goods passing between the mainland and the province.
Despite increasing evidence of economic and political instability caused by the protocol, the EU remains inflexible.
Now, the DUP believes it threatens the fragile peace guaranteed by the Good Friday Agreement.
Under that Agreement, remember, any future reunification must have the consent of the majority in a referendum, meaning a united Ireland is still a way off.
For now, many see the deadlock as a chance to sort out the Protocol, permanently.
Triggering Article 16 is one option, particularly as it lists reasons for doing so as persistent "economic, societal or environmental difficulties".
It would not be unprecedented.
EU President Ursula Von Der Leyen triggered it last year in a row over vaccines supply, though it was swiftly reversed.
While no actual Bill to resolve the issue was included in Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech, the intention is clear: “The continued success and integrity of the whole of the United Kingdom is of paramount importance to my government, including the internal economic bonds between all of its parts”.
It’s time to repeal the NI Protocol.
As I’ve said many times, united we stand, divided we fall.