The DUP will have to be responsible for leading unionism through this crisis

A letter from Mr RG McDowell:
Letter to the editorLetter to the editor
Letter to the editor

There is a lot of debate within unionism about how to oppose the Irish Sea border.

Personally I don’t think its fair to blame the DUP for the border itself as it was reasonable to assume that no government elected on a platform of restoring sovereignty would put a border down the middle of their own country.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

What the DUP will have to be responsible for however is how to lead unionism through this crisis and while I don’t envy the burden on the shoulders of DUP leaders it is notable based on the comments from Louise Haigh MP and Simon Hoare MP on BBC NI Sunday Politics (January 31) that English MPs look at a functioning Stormont executive as a short hand to mean that Northern Ireland is sorted.

It isn’t the DUP’s fault that so many MPs have a lazy and disinterested view of NI but it is their problem. It seems clear to me from the contributions of Ms Haigh and Mr Hoare that only the frustration and potential collapse of the Stormont power sharing structures will put unionist concerns back on the Westminster agenda.

Some unionists may see this as an undesirable option and in many ways it is but it is quite simply the only piece on the chess board which unionism has any control over.

Unionists might even find that Alliance and some of the smaller parties which have built up in recent years through the platform of the NI assembly become potentially better allies with more sympathy towards unionist concerns on this issue if they feel they are going lose their main forum for participating in NI politics.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It will be hard for these parties to keep growing if the focus returns to Westminster.

Mr RG McDowell, Belfast BT5

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

——— ———

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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Subscribe to 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 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