Unionists failing to grasp precious Brexit opportunity

Business community must make a case for the withdrawal agreement and backstop

The prospect of a Brexit deal has been greeted with fear and scepticism in Northern Irish unionist heartlands. Video: Reuters

The DUP has set its face against any Brexit deal the EU is likely to offer, objecting on principle to even the possibility of Northern Ireland having a unique relationship to Europe.

The UUP campaigned for Remain in the EU referendum, but switched to Leave during last year’s general election – officially to accept “the will of the British people” but mainly to avoid DUP jibes of being on the same side as Sinn Féin. Having made the switch, the UUP is now sniping at the DUP from the right, warning its larger rival to “maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom”.

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