DUP displays delusion of thinking it will not be held to account

Like Johnson, DUP’s Brexit stance indicates perspective of power not responsibility

DUP leader Arlene Foster: The party’s response to the inadequacy of its arguments is to point the finger of blame at the grieving party on the other side. Photograph: Ian Forsyth

DUP leader Arlene Foster: The party’s response to the inadequacy of its arguments is to point the finger of blame at the grieving party on the other side. Photograph: Ian Forsyth

For a short while there, it looked seductively like the compromise that we have all been waiting for. From denying the possibility of any post-Brexit divergence within the United Kingdom, the DUP moved last week to endorse the proposal of a regulatory border down the Irish Sea for “all goods including agrifood”. The toxic backstop jettisoned in favour of an all-island regulatory zone. In even proffering the concept of an island of Ireland solution, the DUP looked to be attempting an athletic about-turn.

If they wished, they could justify it in terms of their previous (and periodically disremembered) demand for Northern Ireland-specific arrangements, now writ large in bold bright colours. But what has been curious is that this has barely been attempted. Instead the DUP leadership has moved rapidly towards attributing blame, and far from the cautious, harmonious timbre normally associated with selling a compromise.

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