Current Affairs Politics

Brexit: Behind Closed Doors. How The DUP And The Brexiteers Took Europe Hostage

The second part of the BBC documentary Brexit: Behind Closed Doors might as well be called “How Arlene Foster Blew Up The Deal”. Because that is how it begins, with the United Kingdom and the European Union preparing to sign a tortuously negotiated withdrawal agreement in late 2017 until, at the very last moment, the Democratic Unionist Party forces the minority Conservative Party government in the UK to demand the insertion of unworkable conditions into the would-be treaty. It was an extraordinary event, as a formerly pariah grouping with decades of extremism and militancy behind it took on Europe and won a Pyrrhic victory that has doomed the Continent to countless rounds of talks about talks and delayed the implementation or perhaps even the possibility of Brexit for years to come.


7 comments on “Brexit: Behind Closed Doors. How The DUP And The Brexiteers Took Europe Hostage

  1. many thanks Seamas for posting part 2 – am thinking the contents over after taking some time out (downtime as they say in LA) over the past few weeks! Will give my views as soon as I feel up to it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gendjinn

    The vote patterns of the LG election in NI show how self-destructive the DUP is for Unionism. The reporting of the numbers on the LG in BBC, ITV, RTÉ have been shallow and so far have solely reported aspects that shore up the Unionist position and ignore any detail that would highlight any weakness in their position. For example, try to find the votes of stages 2, 3, and beyond or any DEA (you will eventually find them all on the EONI site).

    The DUP consolidated the Unionist vote but at the cost of the Unionist vote decreasing overall by 20k to 295k since 2014 while Nationalist vote increased by 26k to 275k and Other vote increased by 44k to 107k. The transfer patterns of the Other vote was dramatically reduced in friendliness to Unionist parties. There appears a strong correlation with Remain sentiment in declining to transfer to Unionists. Alliance & Greens transferred 50% to N, 25% to U & 25% not transferring.

    If those transfer patterns held out in a border poll you’d have U/N tied on 325k and 25k undecided & I’d slap some +/- 10k error bars on those numbers.

    Caveat: LG elections see ~200k less than WM/Stormant & ~500k less than a referendum. Those could be very different electorates and have a significant bias in either direction.

    No matter how you slice it though, we are in the endgame.


    • Let’s hope that endgame doesn’t drag out for too long. I’m all for reunification by osmosis but not at a glacial rate 😉


  3. Holy mother of all the gods! Another two hours of Brexshit 😦 … however as a ‘completist’ I feel duty bound to watch it.

    Thanks for the heads up, people.


  4. Well me and the partner sat through both episodes last night. I guess it more or less confirmed what we thought was happening on the EU side. I didn’t find the petrolhead Verhofstadt particularly sympathetic, but he did do an important job in bringing the European Parliament into the process, to represent European citizens more widely.

    But the whole process seemed as claustrophobic, dispiriting and exhausting from the inside as it was experienced from the outside.

    The partner, who is from the North, reckons that the British have managed to create two sectarian identities, Leavers and Remainers, who will for generations distort all other kinds of politics in the UK.

    The ‘which foot do you dig with?’ question will be ‘how did your grandmother vote in the Referendum of 2016?’.

    Not for nothing were the DUP central in the process. They must feel right at home.


    • Verhofstadt is an arch-federalist, in the most literal sense. He genuinely wants a United States of Europe and the dissolution of European nation-states. So my view of him is more a case of my enemy’s enemy is my friend.

      I prefer being in the EU to not being in the EU but centralisation has probably gone far enough, for now at least. And federalists are adding fuel to the fires being lit by the EUphobic camps across the Continent.

      He’s not helping to push the right type of democratic reform and accountability in Brussels and its outliers, even if he is a vocal advocate on behalf of the European Parliament.


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