The flaws in the Brexit deal are not resolved by offering money to Northern Ireland

The former Conservative MP Anna Soubry yesterday responded to a tweet in which someone asked if it was true that the DUP was getting money to support the Withdrawal Agreement.

Saturday, 16th March 2019, 10:51 am
Updated Saturday, 16th March 2019, 12:16 pm
News Letter editorial

Ms Soubry replied: “No! Surely not? Buying DUP support with taxpayers money?... Preposterous idea ... never heard of such a thing ... oh wait a mo ...”

It must be frustrating for the DUP to hear its motives traduced in this way.

On BBC TV last year Emma Little-Pengelly made clear that the DUP would not be bought. That their support for the Union was much more important than that.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It was very welcome that she set the record straight.

It would not only be wholly wrong for any money to be offered for DUP support for this deal, which the attorney general Geoffrey Cox has made clear the UK might not be able to escape, it would be disastrous to accept it.

First, because it would betray the single most important (and priceless) unionist principle.

Second, it would antagonise the wider British public, on whose goodwill Northern Ireland’s place in the UK, and all the generosity that flows from that, depends.

Merely asking for money at this time would irritate government figures, even if it was in fact granted.

We trust such speculation misreads the DUP, which, as Arlene Foster said, has the Union as its “guiding star”.