Northern Ireland and political realities
Sir, – DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson says that there is a political crisis that requires engagement from Dublin and London and that Boris Johnson needs to realise that unionists feel their sense of Britishness is being stripped away by the Northern Ireland protocol which treats Northern Ireland differently from other parts of the UK after Brexit (“High-level contacts between Dublin, London and Belfast continue as riots ease”, News, April 12th).
Mr Donaldson and his party colleagues must be hoping against hope that their constituents ignore a few inconvenient truths.
The first is that the DUP campaigned for Brexit while a majority in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU. More significantly, the protocol is a direct result of the failure of DUP MPs, including Jeffrey Donaldson, to support the agreement negotiated by Theresa May’s government which made no distinction between the constituent parts of the United Kingdom.
Mr Donaldson added that unionist leaders “have to be able to reassure their communities that politics can deliver and that the politics of the street is not the answer”.
I agree. But I cannot think of any party less qualified than the DUP to make that case. It created the problem. It will fall to others to clean up the DUP’s mess. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – I think it’s time the British prime minister visited the centres of the loyalist and nationalist communities in Northern Ireland to explain openly and honestly to his citizens why he decided to back and promote Brexit, leave the single market and customs union, and help to set up the Northern Ireland protocol.
A display by Mr Johnson of a bit of that much-vaunted British grit would surely be welcomed by his people? – Yours, etc,