The real leader of the DUP, Nigel Dodds, was yesterday busy explaining his party’s stance as the Brexit thunderclouds rolled ever nearer. As he tells it, a hard Brexit will be all the fault of the EU.
The DUP, which voted Leave in the EU referendum, is all for Brexit but simply cannot have Theresa May’s proposed withdrawal agreement because of – you’re ahead of me, Virginia – the backstop. For why? For because the backstop would mean that laws for our GTC would be set, not in Westminster or Belfast, but Brussels.
Put your ear closer to my mouth, Nigel. Some of us here have been used, for hundreds of years, to a foreign parliament passing laws affecting us. And if you look at the operation of British law here over the period of the Troubles, for example, you’ll see what a plaything it is of those in power. So welcome to the club, Nigel.
“Asked if he agreed with former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s statement that ‘no deal is the closest thing to what people voted for in the referendum,’ Mr Dodds replied that his party still believed a Brexit deal is possible.”
I expect you noticed what happened in the exchange above. Reporter asks politician question, politician makes statement which uses a key word from the question (in this case ‘deal’) and then makes a statement that doesn’t come within 500 miles of answering the question asked.
You probably thought that the backstop (no change in the invisible border in Ireland) is the jewel in the EU position, and one which Irish people overwhelmingly support. You’d be wrong, or at least wrong according to Nigel’s take on the world.
“If we can’t [get the backstop removed from the agreement] we have to face the reality that it won’t be the UK, it won’t be the British Government that got us into the situation, it will be those who insist on a protocol that nobody likes, nobody wants and yet they insisted on it.”
There’s something almost touching about the way Nigel talks. For ‘protocol’ read ‘backstop’, and because Nigel and his merry band of Brexiteers don’t like the backstop, it follows that nobody likes the backstop.
Ear lowered again, Nigel: only the representatives of 500 million people plus at least 80% of the Irish people want the backstop. Your party, in contrast, say they want the invisible border to continue but they detest the one guarantee that it will continue invisible. It’s like someone saying they’d like a lift to the airport but that to get into a vehicle that would take them there would be totally out of the question. For why? For because the driver of the vehicle might never let them get out of his car again.
Nigel, I’m going to whisper this so lean down and listen very carefully: do you think the rest of us are eejits?