The National:

THE Tory government’s momentous achievement of sorting out their own mess (kind of) has left Rishi Sunak in a spot of bother.

The Prime Minister’s “Windsor Framework”, announced on Monday to much fanfare from Tories who almost certainly hadn’t even read it yet, is touted as fixing the problematic Northern Ireland Protocol – which they all voted for not three years ago.

Praising the new Brexit deal – which is apparently much better than the old Brexit deal he also praised – Sunak said that Northern Ireland was now “the world’s most exciting economic zone” with access to EU and British markets.

READ MORE: 'New chapter' as UK and EU agree replacement for Boris Johnson's Brexit deal

He said: “Northern Ireland is in the unbelievably special position – unique position in the entire world, European continent – in having privileged access, not just to the UK home market, which is enormous … but also the European Union single market.

“Nobody else has that. No one. Only you guys. Only here, and that is the prize.

“I can tell you, when I go around the world and talk to businesses, they know that – they’re like: ‘That’s interesting. If you guys get this sorted, then we want to invest in Northern Ireland, because nowhere else does that exist.’”

Problem is, that’s exactly the situation the whole of the UK was in before the Brexit referendum.

But Downing Street insisted that Sunak hadn’t meant to endorse membership of the single market – despite endorsing membership of the single market.

The National:

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The British people made a decision in 2016 and we are seeing the benefits of that decision …

“With regards to Northern Ireland, it is simply a fact that because of our respect for the Good Friday Agreement and the central importance, Northern Ireland’s unique position means it needs to have access to both markets, not least to avoid a border on the island of Ireland, which nobody wants to see.

“That puts it in a unique position and what the framework does is finally cement those capabilities.”

Sunak’s double-think hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“He's *so* close to the logical conclusion. So close it hurts,” FT journalist Alan Beattie wrote.

“So close to getting it,” Byline Times political editor Adam Bienkov agreed.

“AKA The Northern Irony Protocol,” politics professor Tim Bale joked.

And Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson wrote: “Scotland and Northern Ireland both voted to remain in the European Union. It is hugely welcome that our NI neighbours will remain part of the European Single Market, but is a massive disadvantage that Scotland will not. We must change that.”

Good luck.