No part of the United Kingdom has more cause to remain a part of the European Union than Northern Ireland, a truth reflected in the fact that 56% of the population voted Remain in the referendum.
Since then, according to all recent opinion polls, the percentage of voters favouring Remain has risen significantly. At the same time, trust in the DUP and its leadership has fallen within the Protestant and unionist community.
Yet nothing, including the restoration of the Stormont Executive, is more important to the DUP than getting Britain out of the EU.
The party, unlike the Tories and Labour, is 100% in favour of Brexit, and the harder the better. Why is this?
My firm belief is that the party yearns for the return of a hard border, seeing in the imposed re-division of the country the chance to distance Northern Ireland from the Republic and thus underline its Britishness.
The scandal in this is that the DUP’s shameless masquerade as the sole political representatives of the people of Northern Ireland has been accepted and endorsed by the Tory leadership which thinks it needs the party’s ten votes to secure some form of Brexit.
Sinn Fein’s stubborn refusal to back down on absentionism is at the core of the problem.
The Shinners, I suspect, also want a hard border, but for the opposite reason – to force a united Ireland years before its time.
I’m still trying to work out which of the two parties I despise more.
Walter Ellis, Brittany