UK election result makes our role in Brexit more important
DUP involvement puts the nationalist community in a tough position and raises the stakes for this island, writes Stephen Donnelly
The UK election changes the likely impact of Brexit on Ireland. It makes a softer Brexit more likely, which is welcomed. But it also makes a 'no deal' outcome more likely, which would be a disaster. And it makes special status for Northern Ireland harder to achieve, which is bad news on both sides of the border.
It was meant to be the Brexit election. Prime Minister Theresa May had a slim majority and didn't need to hold another election until 2020, a year after Brexit negotiations were to be concluded. Why call one? Her belief was the Brexit talks would be destabilised by other parties, which wanted a soft Brexit, or none at all. She wanted a stronger hand.
Presumably she also wanted support for a hard Brexit. The question on the Brexit referendum voting cards was: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"