David Cameron today welcomed David Trimble into the Conservative Party:
Standing alongside Lord Trimble outside Parliament, Mr Cameron
declared: "I am sure he is going to bring a great amount to our Party,
not just on the subject of Northern Ireland, but more broadly on
security, terrorism, the constitution and develop the Conservative
Party for the future. It’s not every day you can welcome a Nobel Prize
winner to your party." (Conservatives.com)
Trimble’s arrival doesn’t sit too easily with last week’s Spectator story about the Scottish Conservatives becoming a separate party, in effect moving towards the semi-detached Ulster Unionist model that he is moving away from.
If Trimble does have any input into the Conservatives’ constitutional position, he’s not likely to have much sympathy for a solution of the West Lothian Question on English nationalist lines. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if this issue was a factor in his decision.
Update 18/4: The Belfast Telegraph reports that Trimble wants to re-establish the UUP-Tory link. It’s possible, I suppose, that this would provide some political cover for a move to a similar relationship with the Scottish Tories.