An international disagreement on this scale would have to go through the courts first, and the EU would want to launch a new legal complaint, adding to several it already has with the Government’s handling of the protocol.
Unfortunately for the bloc, one of the clauses considered by the UK’s bill would withdraw ECJ oversight of the deal, weakening its judgements.
Before a fully-fledged trade war, the bloc may opt for a “gentler” approach and damage the UK’s participation in its most valuable projects.
The Government is involved in several potentially lucrative initiatives sparked by EU leaders, the multi-billion Horizon research programme among them.
EU goodwill may fade in negotiations across many of these, meaning the UK loses out in several areas financially before a trade war even commences.
A trade war, which is more likely to harm both the bloc and the UK, will be among last resort options, given costly repercussions and the red tape EU officials have to walk through to ignite one.