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Alex Kane

How can any unionist trust Boris Johnson's word ever again?

Alex Kane


The Prime Minister has now gulled the DUP on three separate occasions, but party leader Arlene Foster will still sell whatever withdrawal agreement he lumbers her with, writes Alex Kane

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Strained relationship: Prime Minister Boris Johnson with First Minister Arlene Foster

Strained relationship: Prime Minister Boris Johnson with First Minister Arlene Foster

Strained relationship: Prime Minister Boris Johnson with First Minister Arlene Foster

Timing is everything in politics. On Saturday morning, it was being reported that DUP leader Arlene Foster had told Sky News that her party, albeit with great reluctance, would be helping to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol (an integral part of Boris Johnson's withdrawal agreement) because it was now law and, in essence, there was nothing she could do about it.

Cue criticism of her across unionist parties, with many blaming the DUP for the mess unionism now found itself in and the very specific threat to Northern Ireland's constitutional position. Criticism, too, from within the DUP, with some members quietly briefing that Foster had "rolled over and given up the fight".

An embarrassing position for her to be in just a few weeks after an enormous rebellion from her MLAs over a Bill that appeared to make it easier for Sinn Fein to go on "solo runs".