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They’re together again, it seems: The on-again, off-again romance between the Tories and the DUP seems to be back on – but does it make a difference?

It seemed – on Monday – that the game was up for Theresa May and her Tory government.

Not only did she lose vote after vote in the House of Commons, but it seemed her allies in the Democratic Unionist Party had switched loyalties to Jeremy Corbyn, in frustration with her policy failure on the Northern Irish border.

Then, suddenly, the DUP’s leaders seem to have changed their minds. It seems they have flip-flopped back into supporting Mrs May:

Why?

Twitter has been abuzz with theories:

If you’ve understood all of the above, then it should be clear that the DUP’s change doesn’t actually make a lot of difference.

The Grieve amendment puts power to affect the UK’s policy on Brexit back in the hands of Parliament, rather than allowing Mrs May’s government carte blanche to do what it likes.

It means that, when she loses the vote over her fatally-flawed Brexit deal with the EU, Parliament may direct the government to take any of several possible choices – including going back to the people for another referendum.

There are only 10 DUP members of Parliament. Many more members of the Parliamentary Conservative Party support Brexit and don’t want to see a second referendum.

When the government is defeated in the Brexit vote, the very next decision the Commons will have to make is whether they have confidence in Mrs May’s government. This is where the DUP’s support had been considered vital.

But if the continuation of Mrs May’s government means a chance of a second referendum, it is possible that her own backbenchers may rebel, and bring her down – simply to ensure that Brexit isn’t stopped by the will of the people.

It would then be up to a future government – possibly a Labour government – to sort out the mess.

So it seems Conservative MPs could end up voting for a Labour government.

These are twisted times.

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