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Tim O'Connor @timoconnorbl
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
One thing that is certain sure: the DUP had already over-played their hand, and are doubling down again on a weakened hand after this draw of cards.

We know how this ends.
We know because we’ve seen this pattern before.

So, let’s assume they do vote against. One of two things then happens: the first is, others make up the numbers to pass May’s deal, it passes, and the backstop is put in place.
The DUP get nothing. They don’t get the money out of the confidence and supply deal; they look like idiots; and there’s every reason and motivation for HMG to shift funding to the Border constituencies and leave the DUP - Arlene - holding the ash-bucket for the RHI Inquiry.
The second is, May doesn’t get the numbers, the deal is voted down, and it’s No Deal.

What happens then is chaos. NI’s economy grinds to a shuddering halt. Utter mayhem ensues in the UK transport and port system. And everyone will blame the DUP as the tailor-made scapegoat.
Again, the DUP get nothing. Nobody’s going to divert money to NI from the Home Counties for them, any more. They’ll be toxic for a generation, and actively punishing them will be popular with voters in Britain looking for someone to blame for the empty shelves.
Now, given the FTPA, the gift of the same anthropoid glazed ham that gave the world the Brexit referendum, one cannot say there will be an election in Westminster. One can say any direct rule won’t give a damn about the DUP’s sensitivities when they make themselves the bad guys.
One can also say that if an election comes, whoever wins will first have nothing to do with the DUP, and second any majority will most likely have a mandate - overt or implied - to punish them. The DUP will be utterly isolated. They’ll make the post-Major UUP look like kingpins.
The mistake the DUP made was thinking that what works in negotiations in NI, where they are indispensable, would work at EU level, where they are of no import at all. That was always the risk, but they didn’t think and, as always, overplayed it and dug in in an exposed position.
The DUP won’t back down. It’s not who they are. It’s being driven by the Westminster DUP, too, the likes of Sammy Wilson and Ian “Kyle got Dad’s brains and charm, I got Dad’s brand” Paisley Jnr., who were half-sent there to get the head-the-balls well away from power in Stormont.
But, because they have painted any movement as capitulation - despite the fact NI with the best of both systems would be awash with so much money Ulster could not just buy an All Black back row, they could buy NZ - they can’t move at all. They’re pinned. It’s stand or fold.
Which means they’ll probably stand. But, as noted above, that means they’re going under the bus either way.

There is no option except movement that doesn’t see them go under a bus. And they’ve made that into a fold that will be throwing themselves under a bus.
It didn’t have to be this way, of course.

But, this is the pattern. We’ve seen it before, in detail, and more than once.

And, as noted at the start of this thread: we know how this ends.
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