A deal to prop up British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government could come at the cost of peace in Northern Ireland, politicians have warned.
The percentage describing as nationalist has also fallen, by 1 percentage point to 24%, while those who describe as “neither” are now far greater than either of the other two categories, at 46%.
Brexit will enter the spotlight again when David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, goes to Brussels for the formal start of talks on Monday.
Even some Republicans have grudgingly admitted if this investment is forthcoming from the central government in London it could be a good thing for Northern Ireland. There have been legal challenges to Brexit, highs and lows for Leavers and Remainers, but following the election result, nobody really knows what Brexit means and when it will happen. Another Europhile former minister said the only way forward now was to drop the “utter madness” of Brexit altogether.
“It’s hard to figure out exactly what their position is”, said Peter Donaghy, a data analyst who has been tracking the party’s voting record at Westminster.
May had vowed to end the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction in the UK.
Instead of promoting unity, the government under Theresa May has taken a unilateral approach. So basically saying that the rights that they have at the moment as citizens will be preserved when Britain leaves the EU.
The Irish CP leader said that the DUP are in a contradictory position, aiming to maintain the division of Ireland while also seeking to locate the economic border between the United Kingdom and the European Union “down the middle of the Irish Sea” alongside the security border. She tweeted that she felt that the DUP had leverage over the government. However the DUP backed the leave option.
“The two issues – Northern Ireland and Brexit – might end up making the other more hard, in a vicious circle”, Usherwood said.
He added: “A fundamental part of that peace process is that the UK Government needs to be impartial between all the competing interests in Northern Ireland“.
Both Sinn Fein and the SDLP have talked of unionist voters now potentially shifting to support Northern Ireland leaving the Union if that was to mean re-joining the EU.
With May still hammering out the details of a post-election deal to stay in power with the support of a small Northern Irish party, there are fears of a disorderly exit that would weaken the West, imperil Britain’s $2.5 trillion economy and undermine London’s position as the only financial centre to rival NY.
Speaking outside of Number 10, Downing Street, Adams revealed that he and his party colleagues told Theresa May very directly that she would be in breach of the Good Friday Agreement.
The PM has been meeting with the leaders of other Northern Ireland parties in an attempt to encourage them to restart power sharing at Stormont.
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood said: “The Prime Minister will have to do a lot more, however, to convince us that the DUP tail isn’t wagging the Tory dog”. The Tories never really need an excuse to push their right-wing agenda but now they could have the DUP calling the shots as the flawless excuse to carry on with their cold ideology.
Senior politics lecturer at Surrey University Simon Usherwood raised the same issues: “The main concern is going to be that if there is a Conservative-DUP deal, then can the British government continue to play the role of a honest broker in the restoration of a Northern Ireland executive”, he queried.