BREXIT, the greatly damaging effect of which has continued surely but somewhat in the background this summer amid the UK’s appalling cost-of-living crisis and the distraction of the Tory leadership contest, looks set to grab the limelight again soon.

Expectations have been mounting that members of the House of Lords will in coming weeks provide some serious resistance to the Conservative Government’s Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.

It seems likely Liz Truss, who has championed the drive to scrap key parts of the very arrangements to which the Tories signed up to facilitate their crusade to leave the single market and customs union whatever the cost, will be prime minister by then.

While political turmoil might often be regarded as something that is bad for business and the economy, given the uncertainty it generally creates, it is difficult to see any downside in something which stops, or holds up and/or waters down what is a most worrying piece of legislation.

Time will reveal the degree of success achieved by those in the House of Lords opposed to the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.

However, you might expect many people in the business world would like to see them succeed. Fears of further instability on the back of this Tory legislation are widespread.

Industry body Salmon Scotland has been among those to warn of a trade war if the UK does not keep up its end of the bargain it struck with the European Union. The EU, of course, is the world’s largest free trade bloc.

And British Chambers of Commerce warned last month: “The prospect of a fully fledged trade dispute between the UK and the EU is drawing ever closer. The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill...provides UK ministers with the legal powers domestically to over-write the protocol and introduce check-free, friction-free movements of goods east-west and west-east across the Irish Sea for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“Should the bill become law – a prospect still...months away – the EU is expected to respond with further actions including safeguard measures (tariffs) on selected UK exports to the EU while the whole matter is resolved by the dispute resolution machinery in the Withdrawal Agreement and Trade and Co-operation Agreement. The BCC is prioritising a negotiated solution, but potentially affected companies should be taking advice now to mitigate their exposure to new costs on exporting goods to the EU should matters worsen.”

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Of course, things are already bad enough on the Brexit front.

While the effects of this folly may not have been front and centre stage this summer as the UK’s dismal cost-of-living crisis has dominated the headlines, Brexit has never been far from the lips of many of those in the business world.

It continues to be mentioned ubiquitously, in a raft of different contexts.

And Ms Truss might want to take note that Brexit is not being mentioned in any positive way, in stark contrast to her Government’s continuing efforts to paint it as a good thing.

Where difficulties are flagged, it is pointed out that these are being caused or at least exacerbated by Brexit.

And where successes are reported, those so doing note that these are being achieved in spite of the negative effects of the UK’s departure from the EU.

As he warned last Friday that hospitality businesses needed urgent help amid soaring energy costs, Scottish Licensed Trade Association managing director Colin Wilkinson said: “Many [businesses] have reduced their opening hours because they can’t get staff and others are having to incur extra costs in finding staff who left the industry during the pandemic and because of Brexit. We’ve definitely reached a tipping point.”

Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, observed last week: “The rise in gas and food prices [looks] set to push price levels higher, as the Bank of England’s interest-rate increases, so far, seem to be doing little to offset supply-side inflationary pressures imported from abroad.

“In addition, supply-chain bottlenecks, the war in Ukraine, as well as Brexit, have all contributed to the post-pandemic revival in inflation. Recession is almost an inevitability at this stage – with record low consumer confidence, the latest GDP (gross domestic product) figures pointing to a contraction, and now...fresh eye-watering inflation forecasts.”

Taxpayer-funded Scottish Development International announced last week that more than £1.4 billion of additional export sales were anticipated over the next three years by companies north of the Border on the back of support it had provided in the year to March.

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Scottish firms were supported to enter 208 new markets over the 12 months, with a focus on opportunities in the US, China, Germany, Spain and France. As part of this, 176 new products and services left Scotland for these new markets, SDI noted.

Adrian Gillespie, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scottish exporters have demonstrated enormous resilience over the past year to adjust to the challenges they have faced due to Covid-19, Brexit and now the conflict in Ukraine.”

Scottish packaging company Macfarlane Group said last week of its “response to Brexit” as it published results: “The new trading arrangement between the UK and the EU came into effect on 1 January 2021. Whilst there has been some disruption to the supply chain and an increased administration burden, the impact on the group has not been significant – largely due to mitigation measures put in place.

“We continue to monitor the impact of ongoing negotiations over the Northern Ireland protocol and the full implementation of customs checks at ports which came into effect from January 2022.”

Ms Truss might want to note that Macfarlane is crediting its “mitigation measures” as the reason Brexit has not had a more significant effect.

She should also take on board that, in all of these references to Brexit, no one is even giving passing consideration to the possibility of a positive effect of leaving the EU.

This will hardly be surprising to those not driven by ideology, given there have not been any discernible positive effects.

But Ms Truss and her fellow Brexiters continue to try to paint Brexit as a wonderful achievement. And it seems likely that, for them, a battle with the Lords might be a useful political distraction as households have to deal with a grim cost-of-living crisis the Tories seem to be ignoring.