So much for her £1bn bribe: DUP turns against May and joins the Eurosceptics

Partners no more? Theresa May (left) with Arlene Foster, the leader of the DUP, in happier times.

The Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party is threatening to vote against Theresa May – and with as many as 40 Eurosceptic Tories – on a motion to make the European Union’s proposal for a border ‘backstop’ effectively illegal.

The tactic is the clearest signal yet that the alliance between the Conservative government and the DUP – the only thing keeping Mrs May in Downing Street – is at the point of collapse.

This is despite Mrs May having given the DUP a £1 billion bung in return for its support.

Mrs May’s position on the Irish border was muddied in a discussion of the issue in the Commons, when the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, seemed unable to give a straight answer. As if the government were unsure what to do in the light of the DUP’s threatened betrayal?

Mrs May’s position worsened in the debate immediately following, when Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab made a false statement. David Lammy explains:

Mr Raab was suggesting that Parliament could not delay the UK’s departure from the EU because it was subject to an international agreement. But this was not true because Parliamentary sovereignty means it is not tied to decisions made by other bodies (and it never was, even though that was one reason people were encouraged to support leaving the EU in the referendum).

When Mrs May herself stood up to provide a report on last week’s summit with other EU leaders, she fared no better. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn summed up her position thus:

Mrs May protested that a Brexit deal was 95 per cent complete – and this provided an opportunity for hilarity:

It seems the remainder of Mrs May’s Brexit journey may well mimic that of the Titanic.

With the DUP poised to betray her, and her own backbenchers preparing to stab her “in the front”*, it seems she may sink without a trace before the end of the week.

*Many have deplored the use of this kind of language, including Labour’s Jess Phillips – who has been ridiculed for doing so. After all, she once threatened to metaphorically stab her own party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, in exactly the same place.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


5 thoughts on “So much for her £1bn bribe: DUP turns against May and joins the Eurosceptics

  1. Julian Townsend

    Raab is correct. Parliament could vote to delay of countermand Article 50 (it’s not likely to, but it could); but that doesn’t mean that the other 27 EU countries would accept the decision.
    There are differing opinions on the legality, but at the very least it’s something the ECJ would have to decide; and it has in fact been asked to rule on this point. Of course, being the ECJ, it hasn’t yet decided whether it should hear the case…

  2. Justin

    hopefully be the end of strong and stable and the dup wont be getting support to soon either, I for one don’t back anyone that back’s the tory and sides with the tory and it views on vunerable adults

Comments are closed.