Letter: The anti-Foster coup plotters are driven by self-interest

Those DUP plotters who organised the coup against Arlene Foster and stabbed her in the back did so for one single reason - to preserve their own positions at Stormont and Westminster.

Saturday, 1st May 2021, 11:20 am
Arlene Foster

There was nothing to do with principle or policy; it was naked self preservation.

I read comments by Tom Smith in the News Letter this week, and he hits the nail on the head.

Sadly, Arlene has been involved in some disastrous policies, but at all times, her colleagues who wielded the knife, supported those policies. The latest DUP blunder was the Party’s role in introducing what became the ‘Protocol’ which is in part fuelling street protests. The Protocol has resulted in the expulsion of Northern Ireland from the UK Internal Market and placed us in a constitutional limbo land.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Letter to the editor

Shortly after becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson submitted new proposals to the EU to amend the Protocol that had been agreed with Theresa May. Johnson’s proposals included:

1) A Regulatory Border in the Irish Sea

2) Border Inspection Posts at NI ports

3) All goods entering Northern Ireland to be compliant and subject to EU rules. He published his proposals on October 2, 2019, in a paper called ‘Explanatory Note’.

Immediately after publication, the DUP issued a statement describing his proposals ‘as a serious and sensible way forward.’

Fifteen days later, the Protocol was agreed with Brussels, and while the DUP by that time had caught itself on and rejected the Protocol, all the points I listed above were contained within in it.

Why any unionist could ever contemplate a border within the the united Kingdom escapes me, but they did despite stating in 2017 that they would never accept any regulatory divergence within the UK.

Between October 2, 2019 an October 17, 2019 (the date of publication of the by-now-agreed Protocol) they had the Parliamentary power to block Boris’s betrayal, but failed to do so.

Ironically, on the eve of publication of the ‘Explanatory Note’ they were cheering the Prime Minister at his party’s conference!

That they now shed crocodile tears for Arlene tells us how unsafe the Union is in their hands.

——— ———

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe