Every cloud has a silver lining. I am sure that is the case.
The most recent general election did not necessarily proceed entirely in the Conservatives’ favour. If Labour’s plan was more than merely not losing the election by as much as they did in 2015, then they were also frustrated.
The Conservatives are now in a confidence and supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party of Ulster. When Mrs May responded to DUP parliamentary leader Nigel Dodds’s question in Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, she referred to him as ‘my Right Honourable friend’, despite Mr Dodds speaking from the opposition benches.
This also means that a politician called Nigel continues to decide the direction of UK politics without actually being in government.
The confidence and supply arrangement does mean that MPs from all the four countries that make up this One Nation will have a say in the direction of Brexit, not just in the Commons’ chamber, but in the corridors of power. To drive Brexit legislation through the Commons, the Conservatives will have to listen to another party from an area where they do not have MPs themselves. This means that the jibe ‘Tory Brexit’ can no longer be applied with any accuracy. Perhaps this will change to ‘Unionist Brexit’. The government is formed from MPs from the Conservative and Unionist Party, after all.
The Northern Ireland Conservatives do campaign in Northern Ireland, but their candidates in Parliamentary elections get a small number of votes. In this year’s general election, no Northern Irish Conservative candidate received more than 1,000 votes in any of the six constituencies they tried to win.
And what of the silver lining in all this? MPs from England, Scotland, Wales and now also Northern Ireland will all have to vote together to turn government policy into law. This does mean that when any such government policy becomes law, it will truly be the law of a United Kingdom.
(Image: Garry Knight)