WITH a smooth and error-free reshuffling of her cabinet completed, and news of the resignation of James Brokenshire on the grounds of ill-health, Theresa May reluctantly faced up to the fact direct rule would have to return to Northern Ireland sooner rather than later, if no compromise could be reached.
However, in a move that came as a surprise to many, PM May insisted direct rule take place from Dublin and not Westminster, while trying to avoid confirming the news in a way that would confirm she sees Northern Ireland as a massive nuisance.
“Well, we don’t want to do it either, but it’s your responsibility now, no take backs,” May said before hastily hanging up a rushed phone call to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
The move to reinstate direct rule while immediately handing over the responsibility of Northern Ireland to someone else has lead some to suggest the British government could potentially have little or no interest in the affairs of their citizens in the North, a claim May has strongly denied.
“Don’t be upset, we’ll still visit you on weekends or something. We’ll work something out between ourselves and the Irish government, we promise this doesn’t mean we don’t love you,” May said, paraphrasing a book on how to talk to children about divorce.
“You will still be British, loved by Britain, supported by Britain, cherished by Britain, but we just won’t have any direct contact with you lot, and if your name comes up on caller ID we’re going to let it ring out,” May added.
Elsewhere, Sinn Féin and the DUP have heralded recent progress in Stormont discussions after reaching an agreement on the list of things they will disagree about this week.