Also: Scottish Government’s legal regulation reforms denounced by judges and lawyers; Ross offers to work with Nationalist rebels to break Greens’ grip on government; new scandal for PSNI as High Court finds it illegally disciplined officers.
The Belfast Agreement decoupled Northern Ireland’s constitutional future from day-to-day elected politics, but the pro-UK parties failed to adapt.
Recent polling shows the party well ahead of both the UUP and the TUV, meaning the current deadlock would simply be reproduced.
Hopes for normal, non-sectarian and growth-focused politics have been dashed as rent-seeking hard-liners dominate at Stormont.
It will give cover to Conservative opponents of the deal. But the crucial question is the future of Stormont, and on that the Unionists are silent.
Of the party’s eight Members of Parliament, four struck a sceptical or hostile note whilst the others took a more reserved or conciliatory view.
If Sunak reaches a deal on the Northern Ireland Protocol, he will need it endorsed by DUP politicians with whom he has almost nothing in common.
Those who insist the Unionists can be bought off or pressured into backing down fundamentally misunderstand the situation.
On the 13th of January 1913, the last formal private army in the history of the United Kingdom was established.
Chris Heaton-Harris will probably call elections sooner rather than later, but another share of his department’s dwindling stock of credibility is lost.
Why has neither he nor Heaton-Harris pushed back against Sinn Fein’s nonsensical claims about ‘joint authority’ with Dublin?
Didn’t he forsee the marginalisation of his party that would follow the Agreement? And anticipate his own fall from office and power as well as his rise to both? The answers are veiled in mystery because so are his motivations.
In what universe is “the peril which has emerged” not inherent to the structure of the deal he struck?
A party which can’t even bear to say ‘Northern Ireland’ will never make Irish Brits feel welcome in an all-island state.
It is worth remembering that the current backlash would be much worse had the Government not subsequently acted to unilaterally extend ‘grace periods’.