Saturday 23 September 2017

Divided North has most to lose from Brexit, but no voice in tough talks to come

DUP leader Arlene Foster needs to move beyond sectarian politics and reach a compromise with Sinn Féin. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
DUP leader Arlene Foster needs to move beyond sectarian politics and reach a compromise with Sinn Féin. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

Everyone agrees that special arrangements are essential for the North post-Brexit. Well, nearly everyone - an election-footing DUP is too busy insulting every shade of nationalism to focus on Brexit, other than hug itself with glee that it's happening.

British and a number of EU leaders have expressed support for some form of special status (its details remain unclear), while this week Enda Kenny insisted on a clause in the Brexit deal to allow Northern Ireland to rejoin the EU as part of a united Ireland. It is a sensible precaution, even if no border poll on reunification is on the immediate horizon.

What is on the horizon, however, is Brits in, as opposed to Brits out. The region will come under direct rule temporarily from London if the DUP and Sinn Féin cannot reach agreement on power-sharing.

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