Watching Holyrood from Stormont

BBC Northern Ireland’s Mark Devenport provides some food for thought on the implications of next week’s Scottish elections for Northern Ireland.

[DUP MP] Gregory Campbell doesn’t seem too concerned. He believes that, even if
the SNP gain power, most Scottish people value their Britishness and
won’t opt for independence.

However he also adds that, were Scotland to go it alone,
Ulster people would still retain their special Ulster-Scots connection
with their Scottish cousins.

Although he prefers maintaining the union, the DUP MP
hints that, in the very long term, maybe an independent Ulster could
take its place in a future Europe of small nations.

Whilst Sinn Fein is campaigning for the unification of
the western island in this archipelago, the SNP is lobbying for the
partition of the eastern isle.

But the Sinn Fein MLA for North Antrim, Daithi McKay,
isn’t going to let that stop him cheering on those he views as his
fellow nationalists. (BBC News Northern Ireland)

Gregory Campbell’s response perhaps suggests that the
DUP could, ironically, be seen not as a bulwark of the union, but as
part of the centrifugal forces working to break it up.

His comments on the peace dividend suggest a party that is prepared
to put the economic development of Northern Ireland ahead of the integrity of the UK.

I attended a Westminster meeting recently where Tory MP Quentin Davies suggested that the DUP have not properly thought through the constitutional implications of demanding things like a corporation tax cut for the North.

The other possibility is that they have thought through the implications, but have gone further down the ‘Ulster nationalist’ route than is yet apparent. Such a strategy would make sense in an environment where the fate of the union is dependent on events in Scotland and England that are outside their control.



, ,




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *