The DUP and the centre ground

Sir, – In your editorial "A chance for the centre ground" (May 17th), you write, "it would be ironic if the election of a hardline DUP leader helped to undermine the appeal of tribal politics".

Indeed not only would it be ironic, it is probably also inevitable. When the DUP played hardball with Theresa May in the House of Commons during the Brexit debate to underscore its Britishness, the outcome had the opposite effect. The resultant economic border in the Irish Sea now leaves it complaining of being treated differently than the island of Britain. A perfect example of being careful of what you wish for.

Edwin Poots and those who championed his election as DUP leader expect further hardball on the Northern Ireland protocol will lead to its scrapping. This won’t happen. Consequently a more likely scenario will be disaffection among the rank and file and a haemorrhage of support from the DUP to alternative parties.

The strategic mistake made by the DUP in pushing for the hardest Brexit possible may soon be compounded by its elevation to the leadership of the hardliner Mr Poots. – Yours, etc,




Co Mayo.