This week in Westminster is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. On Tuesday, the Prime Minister will formally put her Brexit deal to Parliament. If, as expected the Prime Minister loses the vote, all bets are off about what happens next.
This, in part could explain the rather bizarre blossoming relationship between Labour and the DUP. This begun when Arlene Foster indicated Theresa May’s Brexit deal was a bigger threat then Jeremy Corbyn. Then, the DUP joined with Labour and the other opposition parties to launch a successful contempt of parliament motion. And most recently, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has given a series of interviews with the apparent aim of wooing the DUP.
So what is behind this? Well from a Labour perspective, the answer is simple; numbers. In order to bring down the Government or launch their own minority Government, Labour need the support of the DUP. The DUP have confirmed they will vote against the Government’s deal but have suggested they would back the Government in a no-confidence motion. If Labour could convince the DUP that they are in a position to better reflect their goals then the DUP could officially withdraw support.
For the DUP? Well, the clue is in the name. It is the Union. This is above everything else what motivates them. If they believe the Union is in danger they will act accordingly. This means all options are on the table. And yes this does even include doing a deal with this Labour Party and this Labour leadership. The DUP will also be aware their flirting with the Labour Party will concentrate minds in Number 10.
Now, I do not believe we are here yet. And there are plenty of other options to be exhausted. But, I would suggest the prospect of the DUP voting with Labour to collapse the Government has increased in recent days and weeks and that it cannot be ruled out. Would they directly put Corbyn into Number 10? I don’t think so. Would they collapse the Government and trigger a General Election? Don’t rule that out.
It is time to sit back and watch. Because really from here on it is all guesswork.
Article by Mike Hough