Explained: The Northern Ireland Protocol

The Northern Ireland Protocol is set to be unilaterally ripped up by the UK government next week following a deadlock in negotiations with the European Union.

Following Sinn Fein’s historic election victory last week, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson says the party will only return to govern alongside Sinn Fein when the Protocol is removed.

What is the Protocol, and why has it become such a contentious issue? This is the Northern Ireland Protocol explained.