The Irish border issue has the potential to bring down Mrs May’s government

December 1st, 2017

The DUP are revolting and they could make Corbyn PM

Yesterday it was reported by several outlets

The Democratic Unionist Party has warned it may withdraw its support for Theresa May’s government if Northern Ireland is treated as a separate customs and trading regime after Brexit.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson suggested any attempt to “placate Dublin and the EU” over the Irish border could mean its ten MPs no longer prop up the Tories at Westminster.

The party ratcheted up the pressure on Thursday amid attempts to avoid a deadlock over a potential “hard border” between the north and south of Ireland.

Reports had suggested the government was preparing to agree that trading relations in some areas, such as agriculture and energy, would remain harmonised between Northern Ireland and the EU after quitting the EU. 

One of the axioms of politics is that the DUP will never make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister, but then I remember the DUP went into coalition with Sinn Féin at Stormont and made the reputed former second-in-command of the IRA in Derry the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, if the DUP can do that then they can make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister, either directly or indirectly.

As Stephen Bush notes ‘The Democratic Unionist Party are also virulently opposed to anything which weakens the connection between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. As for which they care about more, the clue is in the title: it’s the maintenance of the United Kingdom, rather than the frustration of one sixty-something political leader.’

So what are the betting implications of all this? Potentially bad news for those of us who have been laying Jeremy Corbyn as next Prime Minister. We’d also have to re-evaluate our betting position on the year of the next general election. I’d probably want more than 11/4 on a 2018 being the year of the next general election. I’m not sure I could cope with a general election next year.

Who would have thought the Tories might be the facilitators of the weakening of The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland and making Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister?


PS – Nigel Dodds of the DUP has pointed out another fundamental problem with the government’s proposals.