Newton Emerson: Unionism to squander opportunity presented by EU blunder

DUP will sit on sidelines instead of lobbying for frictionless sea border

Like journalists across Belfast, DUP representatives were hearing one message from loyalists: this was the final straw. Then, sensationally, the EU triggered article 16 itself. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Like journalists across Belfast, DUP representatives were hearing one message from loyalists: this was the final straw. Then, sensationally, the EU triggered article 16 itself. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Detailed accounts have been written of the madness that gripped Brussels last Friday in the hours before it tried to trigger article 16.

Parallel events in Northern Ireland were overlooked amid the fuss, but in their own little way they were just as instructive.

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