Boris won’t back down.

Not in the face of revolt over his rushed Australian trade deal – even though "unbridled opportunities" for British farmers look unlikely.

Not in the face of Covid – even though "Freedom Day" will likely be postponed or abandoned this evening.

And not in the face of "EU intransigence" over the Northern Ireland protocol – even though there’s no viable alternative but for Britain to back down. Indeed, the sooner Boris Johnson bows to the inevitable and puts energy into aligning with EU food standards – the only way to make border checks redundant – the sooner the reckless fuelling of tension and violence in Northern Ireland will end.

The Prime Minister might yet manage to disguise a climbdown as a cunning plan before the most dangerous and incendiary marching season in recent memory.

But more likely, he will continue to deploy his most tried and trusted diplomatic techniques – distraction, displacement and the ramping up of petty grievance – to try and pin the blame for Northern Ireland protocol problems on England’s auld enemy, France. If there aren’t "Hop Off you Frogs" front pages aplenty south of the Border today it will be because the 1966 World Cup winners inched a more important win against Croatia.

Johnson has been attempting to distract attention from the wave of red tape battles that are set to commence in Northern Ireland, as grace periods for waiving border checks run out after a six-month extension unilaterally agreed by the UK.

The protocol allows NI to remain part of the EU's single market for goods, thereby avoiding a land border on Ireland. But it always meant products arriving from GB would have to undergo EU import procedures – eventually.

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So now, faced with imminent difficulties arising from the Brexit deal he negotiated, Boris Johnson and supportive newspapers have been trivialising heavily to invent the idea that "sausage wars" are in the offing because President Macron doesn’t realise Northern Ireland and Britain are part of the same country.

This is nonsense.

For one thing, more than faintly ridiculous bangers are at stake – the grace period of limited checks for most food products and parcels ends in October and for medicines in January.

The French also insist that Macron’s "two countries" comment was wilfully misinterpreted. He was actually pointing out that the land-based trip between Toulouse and Paris was hardly comparable to the trip between two islands – mainland Britain and Ireland.

Whatever, the spat has let Boris do what he does best – thump on about defending the constitutional integrity of Northern Ireland instead of addressing its biggest problem.

That is nothing new.

Johnson’s whole Brexit project is driven by the deep-seated belief that no "foreign" power should be able to interfere in Britain’s domestic affairs – including checks required by treaties the UK has volunteered to sign. And even though we are fast approaching the fifth anniversary of the Brexit vote, the attendant delusions of former grandeur are still getting in the way of progress.

Essentially, no matter how much Boris Johnson tries to invoke the Great British Sausage in his battle to trade with Northern Ireland as if the Belfast Agreement, Brexit and the NI Protocol had never happened, world leaders are not being fooled.

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The British Government is behaving as if Britannia still rules the waves, governing an Empire upon which the sun will never set.

It has.

But the bulk of English voters are content with a leader who works hard to keep the lie alive. Perhaps that seems like a bit of harmless grandstanding.

But it’s not.

Boris throws his weight around as if he and the UK Government were lynchpins not bystanders on the world stage. It’s as isolating and embarrassing as it is last season.

Government by edict and the constant assertion of "false news" were the favourite tools of Donald Trump. Mercifully, he and his methods are now history.

Not only is Joe Biden of Irish descent, as he reminded BBC News within hours of his election, but the new President is a policy man, determined to end the long unproductive years of US government by diktat, declaration and international standoffishness.

With Biden at the helm, America is ideally placed to lead a new era of collaboration – on vaccine distribution, the "Amazon" tax, halting coal use, climate action, pollution and a programme of investment in developing countries.

Of course, America will always come first for Joe Biden. But his rhetoric – if that’s even the right word for such a low-key style – is entirely un-Trumpian. It’s confident and reasonable.

There are no phoney goals, contrived huffs, stamped feet, slick catchphrases or cringe-making attempts to be top dog.

Biden speaks the new, collaborative language of international soft power – and whilst Global Britain is stuttering, Ireland has become fluent.

Hard work behind the scenes meant US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, last month “reaffirmed their commitment to protecting the gains of the Good Friday Agreement for all communities in Northern Ireland”, in meetings with Irish foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney.

By contrast, the UK Government has only just decided to send an official to Washington to explain its NI protocol position to US policymakers.

Too late.

Whilst the UK Prime Minister has downplayed talk of a "special relationship" with the US because the phrase apparently makes Britain look "needy and weak2, Ireland has been strengthening an Irish-American relationship that’s always been "seriously underestimated in London", according to former Downing Street official Matt O’Toole.

Actually, it’s simpler. London seriously underestimates the strength of relationships.

So, whilst Britain frets about status, Ireland has got on with forging, "a very close and special relationship with the US, based … on soft power and personal connections". Indeed, the day of the Brexit referendum result in 2016, Joe Biden was receiving an honorary doctorate from Trinity College, Dublin.

So, the fact the American President refrained from public confrontation with Boris Johnson last week, should not mislead anyone.

Britain is diplomatically isolated over Northern Ireland.

And Boris Johnson will have to back down.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.