DUP Desperation Leads To Collapse of Government
Each week Ciarán Quinn sends a Letter from Ireland as part of the Friends of Sinn Féin Newsletter.
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DUP Leader Jeffrey Donaldson
a Chara We have all been asked for that one favor that turns out to be a challenge. So it was when Greg asked me to write a short weekly update on political developments. A couple of hundred words. Straightforward. Until this week. So here is my take on a tale windier than a Donegal mountain road. The two main protagonists are the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the British Government. The failed leadership of the DUP The DUP is a party in disarray with infighting and three different leaders in the last 12 months. An election is planned for May and the party is falling in the polls. In a desperate attempt to shore up support, Paul Givan, the DUP First Minister, resigned his office and triggered a collapse of the Institutions. The party cited the continuing operation of the Brexit Protocol as the reason. The majority of voters opposed Brexit and support the operation of the Protocol as it prevents a hard border across the island. It is part of an Agreement between the British Government and the EU.
The British Government The second actor in this farce is Brandon Lewis, appointed by Boris Johnson as his Minister responsible for the North of Ireland. As Minister, Lewis has promoted an amnesty for British troops and has sought to close down judicial investigations into their past actions in Ireland. Within a couple of months of his government agreeing on the Protocol with the EU, Brandon Lewis claimed that he would be willing to break the law if the agreement was not changed to the British Government's satisfaction. International Law is not Optional This week a DUP Minster ordered an end to the mutually agreed Protocol checks. Implementation of the Protocol is not an option but a legal obligation. Following the announced order, Brandon Lewis said that he would not intervene. In abdicating their responsibility, the British Government is on a collision course with the EU and the US. President Biden called for no unilateral actions, the implementation of agreements, and practical resolutions to be found within the agreements. The EU has reminded the British Government of its legal obligations. The North will be left without an effective government or budget. Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill the deputy First Minister has branded these actions as an “Election stunt”. A stunt facilitated by the British Government. Mary Lou McDonald said, “We cannot stagger on in the months ahead without a functioning Executive. Sinn Féin will not facilitate this. In the absence of a functioning Executive, an early election must be called.” As I said, a windy tale with no end in sight. Have a great weekend, and be sure to stay connected as this story continues, For the latest news, developments, and analysis: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, & Linktree. Ciarán Ciarán Quinn is the Sinn Féin Representative to North America