The DUP are only British when it suits them

Posted on

I admit it: I have never had a lot of time for the DUP.  Ignoring the other issues what I really do not like is their hypocrisy.

Let me provide an simple example of this. I have, for years, opposed the devolution of corporation tax to Northern Ireland. I cannot count the number of times I have broadcast in the issue on the BBC in Northern Ireland. I have also appeared in the Northern Ireland press on the issue. It made me something of a regular on the Nolan Show for a while because so few local politicians were willing to oppose the alignment of the Northern Ireland corporation tax rate with that in the Republic, so I had to appear instead.

And let’s be quite clear about this: the DUP retains that commitment now. The MyDUP website says:

For years, business organisations campaigned for the need to devolve Corporation Tax and setting a lower rate by Government. It has been described as a potential game-changer for our economy. While other parties had second thoughts and gave up on achieving it, the DUP persisted and we have now secured the power, with a date set for lowering the tax in 2018 to a rate of 12.5%.

And why the odd choice of a 12.5% tax rate? Precisely because that would bring  Northern Ireland into line with the Republic. There is literally no other explanation that can be provided.

And that is my point: in this case the DUP  campaigned  persistently (their own word) for regulatory alignment with the Republic. And yet, yesterday, they objected to a Brexit deal  precisely because that would require regulatory alignment with the Republic.

In other words, when it suits the DUP  they want alignment  and to be apart from the rest of the UK, and when it does not suit them  they don't.  That, in my book, is a definition of hypocrisy, and that is  precisely why in my opinion the DUP are just a bunch of hypocrites who are as Irish  and as separate as they like when they want to be, and as British as they want when it suits them.

And that is why we should ignore them now.