To sustain her rule in Westminster, May needs ten MP’s from Northern Ireland, without them, she’s toast. The Good Friday Agreement conceded to Home Rule in Northern Ireland, yet beginning in January of 2017, rule from Belfast has been suspended. Enter Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who recently tripped May’s entrance into EU – Brexit talks when her Northern Ireland wing publicly blocked May’s move to block her concession aimed at averting a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
Why is this a problem?
The DUP’s bombshell has opened up Westminster’s relation with other dependencies like Scotland, Wales and the City of London, to in effect, lobby for special treatment to improve access to the the European common market.
If anything, the DUP has provided May with an opportunity within her cabinet and party, for an accelerated debate about the end-goal for Britain’s relation with the EU.
And what of the DUP’s continued intransigence?
If the DUP cannot help May in her policy articulation, they must face two impending fatalities. A separate status deal with the EU brokered by May or a no deal Brexit that would immediately impose a hard border in Northern Ireland, effectively closing the Good Friday Agreement. All of this plays well into Jeremy Corbyn’s hand.
The final deal for a Brexit is March 29, 2019 and phase two of negotiations will be much harder for May to achieve than the opening gambits on display now. A ratified, water tight, limited transition may be off the table if England cannot surmount internal policy divisions.
England’s Tory Brexiteers continue to revel in their unpreparedness, evidenced in a continued fracas that seeks to unravel the very consensus the working English population wanted in Brexit. If anything, the institutions of governance have NOT kept up with public sentiment on immigration, taxation, parity and trade. May could be vindicated, if she can find her voice and clearly articulate what Boris Johnson and other Brexiteers know.
England has taken the lead to reclaim sovereignty, if only to prepare to “the long war” against Islamism in a nation whose Constitution is un-enumerated.
May knows that the Brexit gamut is the opening salvo in the West’s confrontation with Islamism.