This is Iain Martin’s weekly newsletter, exclusively for Reaction subscribers.
What a difference a week makes. Before the announcement of the deal on the Northern Ireland Protocol, the pro-Johnson faction was getting ready for a run at reclaiming the Tory leadership. In typical style, he and they had not thought it through. Boris Johnson lost office because he could not hold together a government, such was the outrage over his shoddy conduct. It would be no different if the Tory tribe put him back in Number 10. Few would serve. A ragbag administration would lose votes and collapse into an early general election. But a week ago the Johnson gang were working on the basis the Northern Ireland deal with the EU would make the impossible possible. A supposed sell-out would prove so unpopular with many Tory MPs that it would begin the process by which Rishi Sunak fell, some time after the local elections in May. Another Tory PM – Major, Cameron, May – brought down by Europe.