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Yes it is confused. This is my personal view of the underlying motivations.

The DUP understand in their bones that hand outs from the UK is their trump card when the subject of Irish reunification comes up. This is why surveys on the issue have until recently gone the way of maintaining the link. There are two strands that support this vote, public (state) employment and benefits for the unemployed, elderly and chronically ill. The bonus expected from the deal, will give the DUP a chance to outflank the nationalist opposition, hoping to cement their own base but weaken Sinn Fein(SF) by increasing the attraction of the centrist Social Democratic and Labour Party in any share out of the booty.

SF on the other hand would secretly welcome a “levelling down” of benefits to standards similar to the Republic. This is not to say that the left of their party are happy with these levels. SF have paralysed budget setting over the years, claiming to resist austerity, but the point they really make is clear to anyone from the North. “Union with England (the UK), is not a reliable base for the future.” This strategy has had its weaknesses. SF risk being outflanked on the right by active paramilitaries for not doing enough (armed struggle) to bring about reunification. This is a real and terrible prospect. There is also a risk on the left from some popular anti austerity parties. If this happens then it will push SF into more nationalist positions and encourage paramilitaries.

So in a strange way, the North mirrors the deep divisions that are damaging the UK exacerbated by the lack of any decent unifying political leadership. Teresa May(Tory) bet the house on building on the Brexit vote. She failed to do so as she lacked a compelling vision of promised benefits of leaving. Her ministers are scared to admit how little they have in the way of strategy or levers to bring concessions from the EU. They didn’t really campaign on Brexit.

Corbyn(Labour), who is held to have had a successful campaign, for took the issue off the table by making major concession to the hard Brexit position, i.e. no immigration and thus exit the customs union. He did this for party (blue collar base) as well as strategic reasons. Neither of these concessions is a realistic goal and it’ll be interesting to watch the rowing back from both parties as the negotiations continue. Corbyn only succeeded in rallying the “packed” constituencies in mostly metropolitan areas. His strategy wasted many votes, just +2% of the popular vote in the UK gave the Tories 56 extra seats in parliament. Corbyn lost the election due to a limited strategy.

Although Mr Springford is right to say there is no majority for Remain, that question didn’t really come up during the election. It is clear that Brexit plus uncertainty has caused the currency to plunge and inflation to rise against capped wages. This has driven many remainers into voting for Corbyn as the lesser or two evils. They have not faded away.

I’d take a bet that the question of remain will resurface as the underlying conflict is far from resolved. And the prospect of an exit deal from the resurgent EU is likely to be very very bad. The ante referendum status quo will begin to seem more attractive. Especially if the youth vote continues to grow. If that does then anti immigration and terrorism are like to become major planks of the Brexit crew. We have seen targeted attacks on Muslims.

There are also random attacks by ISIS/AQ wannabes. Here’s a thought lets not add in attacks by the continuity ira or loyalist paramilitaries, both of whom would form alliances with religious extremism as it’s second nature to them.

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