The general election campaign gets off to a dramatic start
The coming general election, which is of critical importance to the future of the United Kingdom, and indeed the integrity of the Union itself, got under way in a dramatic way this week.
It seems that there will be no pact between the Brexit Party and the Conservatives, which, if it turns out to be the case, is a deliberate decision by Downing Street that the Tories could be tainted among moderate voters if there is such an understanding.
But this then puts the nation at risk of a Jeremy Corbyn victory, by splitting the pro Brexit vote. Many unionists in Northern Ireland will be not as troubled by a split Brexit vote as they would have been weeks ago, given the sudden prospect of a border in the Irish Sea under Boris Johnson. A hung parliament might be a good outcome.
There is little Northern Irish voters can do to bring about such a result but now more than ever it makes sense for everyone who is eligible to vote to register and make sure they get a ballot.
Meanwhile, it is appalling that paramilitaries have threatened unionists in North Belfast. This is the last thing unionism needs, regardless of whether there is a pact there. Clearly Nigel Dodds MP is needed back in Westminster and it is to be hoped he will get every vote he can, but there is no call for loyalist threats, however important the contest is in that constituency.