The most significant, though, hardly surprising development during Saturday’s special Brexit debate was that the DUP with its ten MPs has totally switched to opposing the government. It is hard to see how that can be changed certainly by the current PM.
This was not a mistake that TMay would have made.
The sense of betrayal coming from hardline unionist communities in Northern Ireland heightens the fact that Johnson’s readiness to ignore and ditch the key element of unionism about its status being exactly the same as the rest of the UK is going to take a long time to heal.
You can now see Arlene’s party being ready to countenance all sorts of possible ways of using her Westminster strength which would have been unthinkable before Johnson reached his agreement in Dublin with the Irish PM
One thing that struck me were the expressions of surprise from Brexit supporting politicians and the media about the DUP being ready to compromise the effort to leave the EU. Their lack of understanding of Irish politics over two centuries was extraordinary.
In general election terms the “loss” of the DUP’s 10 MPs has to be added to the likely Tory losses to the SNP as well as to the LDs in strong remain areas. Finding at least 40-50 current LAB-held seats to take is going to be challenging.
A big problem in all of this is that Tory voters rate Brexit as a much more important issue to them than LAB or DUP ones.