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After so many years of tortuous negotiations with an EU that still and always resents our leaving, the Northern Ireland Protocol Question has been fixed!

But has it been truly fixed, or has it been fixed into permanent position?

The very fact that the EU has approved it indicates the latter. The EU does not do climb-down, and see the matter as furthering the probability that sooner or later, Ireland will have to be reunited - under their governance of course.

That means that the "solution" needs to keep the pot simmering, even if it does go some way toward resolving the incompatibility with the Good Friday Agreement. Future wrangling over detail should ensure plenty of opportunity for both simmering and complexity to flourish.

Of course the other option - Irexit - also remains available and may make economic sense, even if currently politically impossible. A combined independent Ireland outside both the UK and the EU could make free trade deals with its neighbours as it pleased and might yet achieve popular support across the board. Given the increasing unpopularity (not to mention fragility) of the EU, this may come about sooner than we think.

Meanwhile, the pot continues to bubble ...