Sunak draws ire after hailing Northern Ireland’s access to UK and EU markets

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PM criticised for boasting about trade benefits of new deal while denying same gains to rest of UK

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Rishi Sunak has eulogised Northern Ireland’s “unique” and privileged position in having easy trade access to both the UK and EU markets – prompting critics to note that this was the case for the entire country before Brexit.

In comments that could potentially antagonise hardline Conservative Brexiters – who suspect Sunak could secretly welcome a shuffle towards closer EU single market access – the prime minister used an event in Northern Ireland to talk up what he called “the prize that is on offer” with his post-Brexit protocol.

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