Unionism in crisis with ructions over protocol and a divided DUP

The DUP is dialling up the rhetoric over the post-Brexit arrangement as it deals with a growing split within its ranks – and just as Boris Johnson comes under intense pressure from Joe Biden to make the protocol stick

Edwin Poots at a press conference at Stormont. The new DUP leader announced his ministerial team last week. Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye

On a cold November evening at the end of 2018, hundreds of DUP members packed themselves into the conference centre at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast, giddy in anticipation of an address from Boris Johnson.

Then just a lowly Conservative MP, Johnson had recently resigned as British foreign secretary in protest at what he described as a “soft Brexit” approach by his government. Arlene Foster and the DUP, on the other hand, were still ...