Monday 10 December 2018
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.theguardian - 27 days ago

The DUP’s overreaching on Brexit could lead to a united Ireland | Dawn Foster

The party won’t shift its position on the backstop but its voter base is starting to notice the downsides to being in the UKEach time I visit Dublin or Belfast, people immediately want to know about the state of play on Brexit. Can the Conservative party truly be as incompetent and divided as it seems to be? Or could the apparent chaos be a machiavellian ploy, with a diabolically clever plan to be unveiled in the final scene? Now the cabinet has been summoned to an emergency meeting tomorrow, we may be about to find out.The Democratic Unionist party will scrutinise the withdrawal agreement with a gimlet eye for any evidence that Theresa May has reneged on her commitments to it by granting a backstop agreement that could give Northern Ireland a special status within the UK. But the DUP leader, Arlene Foster, should be careful not to overplay her hand. May’s political bedfellows have wasted no time in throwing their weight around and talking up their role in the confidence and supply agreement, signed after the Conservatives lost their majority in the 2017 election. At any point, they claim, they can sink the government by withdrawing the support of their 10 MPs. But the question of whether May will renege on her commitments to them over the status of Northern Ireland is only one problem faced by Foster’s party. Within the DUP a power struggle is looming. Continue reading...

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