Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The hidden subtext behind the DUP's support for a hard Brexit, and rejection of Theresa May's proposals which would not have required a customs border anywhere, was the belief that it would "harden" the boarder within Ireland and slow the creeping integration of the Northern Ireland and Irish economies.

They never supported the Good Friday Agreement which basically ended the Troubles by offering joint government and an open boarder within Ireland, which, with "an ever closer union" within the EU, would have gradually eroded the distinction between Irishness and Britishness within a common European identity. They regard all accommodation of nationalists as compromising their "Britishness" and appeasing terrorists.

Perhaps their definition of Britishness encompasses the right to subjugate all others. They never imagined that Ireland, backed up by the EU and USA, would have the balls and the capability to stop this from happening, and now they have to accept the fact that their gambit backfired spectacularly and it was the British link that was weakened.

The DUP don't really see themselves as a party of government for Northern Ireland, hence their rejection of the 56% - 44% vote to Remain in the EU. Their idea of government is entirely to maintain the interests of their own loyalist community.

But now they have to contend with a new reality that (a), unionist parties no longer command a majority in the N. I. and the assembly, and (b) a majority of their own voters care less about the Protocol than they care about the political stability and economic progress of N.I.

Normal politics is in danger of breaking out. The same Polls which show declining support for political unionism still show a large majority in favour of the union with Britain. It's just that many ordinary unionists are embarrassed by their own parties due to their antediluvian social policies and counter productive economic policies.

Hence the rise of the Alliance Party.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 3rd, 2021 at 04:54:25 PM EST
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