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Direct rule in Northern Ireland could do profound damage to the DUP

Perfidious Albion is more normally a fixture of Irish nationalist discourse. Yet history shows that it is direct rule, usually by Conservatives, which has traumatised the unionist psyche

By Andrew McQuillan  

Prime Minister Theresa May and Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire meet Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster. Photo: PA

It may seem counter-intuitive that the prospect of direct rule and further integration with the United Kingdom should engender wariness on the part of that most loyal tribe, Northern Irish unionists.

The seemingly inevitable slide towards direct rule following the failure to relaunch the Stormont institutions has been met with sanguinity by the Democratic Unionist hierarchy at Westminster. That the impending demise of devolution has been acknowledged with a shrug…

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