A Coalition with the DUP Could Derail Brexit | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

A Coalition with the DUP Could Derail Brexit

Comment Writer Lisa McGrady argues that that a coalition between the DUP and the Conservatives will lead to chaos over Brexit

Well, who saw that coming? The election finished with an shock ending - a hung Parliament. With Eric Pickles declaring 'we underestimated Corbyn', most people were suprised waking up this morning to discover no party having won a majority. The word 'certainty' was continuously relayed through May's first speech following the election, but is certainty what the country will now experience?

Shock was further evidenced through the DUP forming an alliance with the Conservative Party. Although the two parties share the 'Unionist' name in their parties' titles, they ultimately have had very different perspectives going in and going out of this election. Naturally the major issue for the DUP was the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland. The Conservative Party appeared, at the time, to ignore Northern Ireland's needs through calling a General Election in the absence of a government at Stormont. This was not good from the start. Moreover, Theresa May consistently held the notion that the British negotiators could return without a deal for leaving the EU. This, by no means, was a good answer for the likes of Northern Ireland who still had the fear of a hard border returning. It, therefore, appears ironic that the Conservatives are reaching out to the DUP to form a government when the Northern Ireland parties were essentially ignored.

Critics have argued that Brexit is one of the biggest issues that the nation has faced in a long time, and therefore, a cohort of parties working together is perhaps what the nation required. Well, that could be the case now. But with Brexit negotiations beginning on 19th June and a possible further collapse of a government in Northern Ireland on 26th June, things appear to be living up to the 'coalition of chaos' coined by the Prime Minister herself. Paddy Ashdown went as far as to declare that the country is 'broken and in a bigger mess than we were in before.'

Things appear to be living up to the 'coalition of chaos'

Shock is palpable, uncertainty is prevalent and we are stuck. What cannot be ignored though is the growing nationalism in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Critics argue this should not be ignored if unionists are the key players in Brexit negotiations as all party opinions should be heard. Arguably, this is not a form of chaos but consideration to listening to all of the British parties and their needs.

As Tim Farron said, 'Theresa May expected to have a coronation' and now, she will not have one. Who would've thought at the start of the General Election the Conservatives would need the support of the DUP. Although an option in 2015, it was difficult to determine whether the circumstances would be similar in 2017 with so much change having occurred. With critics arguing for and against this formation, another election could be on the cards. But one thing is for sure; keep your eyes on the news, because politics changes fast!

History and Political Science student. Keen photographer


10th June 2017 at 9:00 am

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