The Conservatives will pay a steep price for relying on the DUP


Paradoxically, her reliance on this one set of Brexiteers – who will do all they can to seek the softest of exits – will embolden the subversive instincts of the Eurosceptic old guard within her own party. So on the very issue with which May defines her premiership, the presence of the DUP will exacerbate rather than soothe her parliamentary headache over Brexit.

The party’s economics are much wetter than media caricatures would suggest. The likely need for financial inducement will drive a bulldozer through Tory manifesto commitments such as abolishing the triple lock on pensions, the bedroom tax, and hasten the abandonment of austerity. They may well demand the replacement of EU grants in full by central government. Little wonder that NS contributor John Bew once likened the Northern Irish parties’ attitude to public subsidy to “the SNP on crack”. It is unlikely to reassure those who derided…

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