The DUP are not as supportive of Brexit or as united as it might appear

The DUP are not as supportive of Brexit or as united as it might appear

There’s a widespread assumption that the party that supports TMay’s minority government, the DUP with its 10 MPs, is rock solid in its view on Brexit and there’s no wiggle room.

That perception is certainly a good bargaining chip for its relations with London but is this view correct? Could it be less united and less supportive of Brexit as might appear.

Last night the person I go to on Northern Ireland politics who has proved to be solidly reliable in the past raised a lot of doubts in my mind enough for me to go on record here repeating them.

The DUP’s overwhelming objective is to maintain the union amd there’s a growing realisation that Brexit itself presents massive challenges and that the party’s support for Leave in the 2016 referendum might have been the wrong call. In fact it is being said in some quarters that not all their Westminster MPs voted for Leave.

Anything that threatens the union with the rest of the UK is a huge worry and, as we’ve seen, Brexit is problematical.

The general approach of the DUP is to use its current critical role in providing TMay with the Commons numbers she needs to maximise the benefit to the Province. This is all about leverage and the party will look for every opportunity to use it.

Ultimately keeping the Union together is a bigger priority to the DUP than the UK leaving the EU.

Mike Smithson

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