Today the DUP leader said she was against the NI Protocol from the start. As most will already know this is untrue. Here's a walk through the DUP's position on the EU over the last few years.
This is the DUP's election manifesto the year before the EU referendum, 2015. Look at the language.
Although historically an EU-sceptic party they can see the clear advantages membership brings and want that to continue, extolling the single market and free movement.
The EU referendum date was announced in late 2015 for June the following year, 2016. Cameron had been trying to get more opt-outs for the UK. The DUP met in late Feb 2016 at their HQ to discuss & decide their stance. "On balance" the DUP decided to back leave.
As you can see above the DUP were not extolling a hard Brexit. In fact what they said at the time didn't allude in any way to the complexities that leaving the EU could bring, either for the UK nor even for NI. It looked like they had not considered them.
In 2019 Jim Wells, then without the party whip, admitted this to Stephen Nolan. The hours long meeting decided the referendum position in minutes and didn't weigh up the consequences. Economic issues weren't considered. He revealed a shockingly reckless lack of scrutiny.
In summary, Jim confirmed:
🔹Irish border solution not discussed
🔹pros & cons of leaving Vs remain not compared
🔹back leave, work out details later
🔹 decision made solely on "senseless bureaucracy, interference, meddling and control"
By April 2016 there were 2 main groups campaigning to leave the EU. DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds joined the board of Vote Leave & also their Campaign Committee with Cummings, Gove, Johnson & Baker. They promised little would change & that the NHS would have £350m week more.
In the last days of the close campaign a 4 page DUP funded ad was taken out in a GB newspaper. Mervyn Storey defended the cost of the ad which was greatly in excess of what the DUP could afford. The DUP had been used to funnel money to get round Vote Leave's spending limits.
Several years later we still don't know the true source of the money but that is was funnelled through a group called CRC. DUP Treasurer Jeffrey Donaldson did not disclose the due diligence he did on the suspicious £435k donation.
It would also later be revealed that the DUP paid Aggregate IQ (a company linked to Cambridge Analytica) £33k. Aggregate IQ are involved in using social media data to manipulate opinions of voters.
Jeffrey said he can't remember what they were paid for.
The result of the referendum was known in hours, in favour of leave 52:48. In NI, the result was 56:44 remain. Early takes from some DUP reps were quite astonishing. Foster committed to "get the people of NI the deal they deserve."
Cameron immediately resigned and was replaced by Theresa May who called a snap election in April 2017 but she lost her majority and became dependant on the 10 DUP MPs to agree and pass legislation.
NI's first ministers wrote to Theresa May in August 2016 to stress elements important to NI because of it's unique situation. A lot of emphasis is given to needing a close deal with the EU with their concerns about the peace process and political settlement (GFA) mentioned.
In January 2017 May announced UK would leave the EU's Single Market (agreed laws to enable free movement of goods & people) & Customs Union (trading area to sell goods in all EU). This announcement meant trouble for NI because of its shared EU border.
Despite being in a very powerful position the DUP did not use this time to suggest a preferred form of Brexit that would suit NI. Others then took the initiative with May trying to find common ground. In late 2017 Foster introduced her 1 red line.
May's earlier red lines and Foster's red lines were incompatible and any solution would require major compromises from from one or all parties.
In order to solve the NI problem May and Barnier spent most of 2017 trying to find a solution and May agreed all of UK to stay in the EU Customs Union and to follow many EU Single Market rules.
A temporary backstop was to be put in place while a trade deal was negotiated.
Foster rejected the deal the UK & EU were due to sign in late 2017 due to the backstop. DUP wanted NI to leave EU on the same terms as GB, something that was impossible without a hard land border or very close UK-EU relationship, which most Brexiteers would object to.
Discussions on squaring this circle continued through to 2019 with revisions made to try to bring DUP onboard & get enough votes to get through UK Parliament. During that time the DUP still didn't suggest a suitable solution & elements of the DUP sided with hard Brexiteers.

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More from @dup_online

6 Apr
So what did we learn today kids?

We learned that Nolan can't count.
At. All.
We learned that Arlene doesn't get irony.
We learned that Moore likes to take his time.
Read 4 tweets
6 Apr
A play in 4 acts.

Act 1
The DUP will save us Image
Act 2
Johnson will save us Image
Act 3
The UK Parliament will vote to save us Image
Read 4 tweets
5 Apr
A small number of loyalists are starting a campaign whereby they march around unannounced in their own communities endangering themselves and others along their route. This selfish behaviour is somehow supposed to force the UK Govt to renegotiate it's WA with the EU.
The UK Govt has repeatedly stated, in some cases in direct replies in parliament to DUP MPs, that the WA NI Protocol are not being removed. You'll remember the DUP were the only party in favour of the NI Protocol which is how it came to be forced through.
Originally the DUP strongly backed it, despite all other parties rejecting it, with Arlene threatening that the EU better accept it as the only alternative to it was no deal.
The DUP agreed to the NIP conditions as long as they had a veto to later object to it.
Read 6 tweets
22 Oct 19
1/ An argument discussed frequently on Twitter is that NI, as part of UK, just gets some of the contributed money back from EU and that the contributions are much higher than receipts.
What's the truth of that? Read on to find out.
2/ There can be more than 1 answer to this, the exact figures largely depend on the underlying assumptions used.
In all cases I have used official sources, some from the European Commission (EC) and most from the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS).
3/ Let's start. UK contributions to the EU vary from year to year, partly because of variance in EU budgets and partly due to exchange rate movements (EU contributions are paid in Euro).
Read 15 tweets
21 Sep 19
1/ The news of the Wrightbus discussions seemingly at an end is disastrous for the Ballymena area and wider NI. Bidders may be waiting administration and a clean sheet and to pick only the bits they want. Brexit does feature strongly in their recent change of fortune.
2/ 2018 accounts are due shortly but the first line of 2017 accounts says "During 2017 the Company achieved a solid performance despite continued uncertainty in the UK market for new
buses and the pressure of increased material prices due to exchange rates."
3/ It also says their preferred currency is Sterling so they are pricing product in a falling currency and buying parts/materials in rising currencies. The value of the £ fell further after the period of these accounts.
Read 26 tweets
5 Jun 19
Earlier this year the US Office of Trade published a short document outlining what they'd seek in trade negotiations.
I've highlighted some bits because it doesn't make good reading. It's only half the size of the GFA but Brexiteers still won't have read it. Follows... 1/
So this is the document. It's 18 pages so possibly within the limits of Dominic Raab.
It sets out a table of contents.
I've focussed on some of them.
Read 17 tweets

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