Only the public can break link with Union
Is it possible to ask the DUP why it doesn't yet understand that Northern Ireland is part of the UK? I ask this because of the party's protestations during the past week.
Having caused all sorts of problems for the Government in the EU negotiations, it turns out that the DUP just didn't understand that when a document says 'the UK is doing X, Y, or Z' that that means that Northern Ireland, being a constituent part of the UK is, by definition, included in the term 'UK' and simply doesn't need separate mention.
This issue was settled by the Good Friday Agreement all those years ago.
The whole constitutional position of Northern Ireland and being part of the UK, or whether it stops being part of the UK, can only be determined by the people of Northern Ireland in a border poll.
The DUP can't influence that. Sinn Fein can't influence that. No party in Northern Ireland can influence the Union, one way or the other. The only way there can be a change is if the people vote for change.
Perhaps this is why the very few words of change by the DUP in the first EU agreement are entirely meaningless tautology.
The references to trade between Northern Ireland and GB are even more meaningless.
Trade within the UK is a matter for the UK. It is/was never an issue for EU negotiations and the agreement doesn't add anything to that issue at all.
I guess that is why the Government stopped listening to the DUP and pressed ahead without further alteration. The PM was acting "in the national interest", as Arlene Foster put it, by ignoring the DUP's protestations. Says it all.
I just find it remarkable that the political party that claims to stand up for and protect the Union simply don't understand what 'the United Kingdom' actually means and that it (and every other political party in Northern Ireland) has absolutely no power to influence the Union one way or another.
It would be good if the politicians representing this part of the world actually tried to improve things for this part of the world, rather than ranting about the Union - something they simply can't influence.