This initially will be a question of who blinks first - Truss or the EU. The EU could attempt to sabre rattle by digging in its heels over the Protocol and the Irish Sea border as the UK enters one of the roughest cost of living crises since the mid 1980s.
But the EU’s Achilles heel is that it does not politically multi-task. Bringing an end to the war in Ukraine and at the same time persuading Russia to switch on the gas links are Brussels’ main priorities.
A potential trade war with the UK would economically cripple the EU’s bid to soak up the financial pressures caused by Russian blockades - and Kremlin big boss Vladimir Putin knows this.
The EU cannot afford to fight on two fronts - against the Russians in Ukraine, and against the British in a very damaging trade war over the Protocol.
Truss’ blunt message to the EU is devastatingly simple - no Protocol, then no trade war!
Triggering Article 16 would only be a temporary measure. It will not guarantee the death knell of the Protocol, and it will only prolong the agony of the Northern Ireland population with no devolved government at Stormont.
By confining the Protocol to the dustbin of history, it will allow the DUP to nominate an Assembly Speaker and clearly pave the way for a return of the power-sharing Executive without the DUP losing face either to its broad voter base, and especially to the influential traditional Paisleyite wing within the party.
The last thing party boss Sir Jeffrey Donaldson needs is another leadership coup, or indeed a snap Stormont election next month.
But with the cost of living crisis deepening and a trade union-led Winter of Discontent looming, Northern Ireland simply cannot afford to be left without a fully functioning Executive at Parliament Buildings.
Again, put bluntly, cripple the Protocol and Stormont returns. The DUP certainly needs Stormont back to full running in time for next year’s expected council elections in Northern Ireland.
The last thing the DUP also needs is a lack of a functioning Assembly to convert into a wave of council seats lost to Alliance or the TUV.
Similarly, a snap Stormont poll could result in an increased majority for Sinn Fein as republicans will play the ‘victims card’ claiming the Assembly in its current form is not working because of a Unionist veto by the DUP.
What happens to the DUP vote if the present slender two-seat majority over the DUP by Sinn Fein turns into a 12-seat gap in favour of republicanism?
Likewise, Truss need not worry about Sinn Fein’s influence at Westminster as its MPs still maintain their outdated abstentionist position of not taking their Commons seats.
And as for a border poll if Sinn Fein should become the largest party in Leinster House after the next Dail General Election, that will become a non-starter as Sinn Fein is a party of protest, not a party of government.
Historically, the last time Sinn Fein won a major election was in 1918, and it sparked a civil war in Ireland costing dozens of republican lives.
For example, Sinn Fein’s housing policy for the Irish Republic resembles a housing strategy that would be more at home in the former Soviet Union or the old communist East Germany.
Put bluntly, a few years of Sinn Fein government in the Republic will leave the 26 counties financially bankrupt and perhaps the unthinkable - Southern Ireland begging to become part of the UK again, even dominion status, as the EU cannot afford another multi-million euro bailout.
The yapping political pups in Leinster House of whatever shade of political green need to understand there are no British pounds available to assist a future crippled Celtic Tiger economy.
Sinn Fein’s future election pledges may read well on paper and be popular among people too young to remember the IRA’s campaign of slaughter, but in practice, Sinn Fein’s manifesto is old-style communism under another name.
Economically, Sinn Fein is still locked into 1916 and the loony Marxism of James Connolly’s old extreme left-wing Irish Socialist Republican Party (not to be confused with the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the political wing of the terror gang the INLA).
For the Protocol to die politically, Truss needs to hold her nerve. Which will be the more financially crippling - the war in Ukraine for the EU, or the cost of living crisis in the UK should the EU call Truss’ bluff on implementing a trade war?
Perhaps in the days ahead, it will not be a question so much as to who blinks first between Truss and the EU, but when Truss plays her ‘trade war’ ace card in this high stakes political poker game.
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Listen to commentator Dr John Coulter’s programme, Call In Coulter, every Saturday morning around 10.15 am on Belfast’s Christian radio station, Sunshine 1049 FM. Listen online.