Why Arlene Foster’s imminent resignation as DUP leader matters to future of UK

Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster Credit: PA

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster will inevitably resign soon, in the face of the coup against her.

What happens next will have huge significance in respect of Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK.

This is because Arlene Foster made the judgement (which feels right) that the way to keep the DUP a credible political force was to move it to the centre ground, especially on social issues, whereas those who oppose her do so on the grounds of religious fundamentalism.

Or to put it another way, the DUP is at a momentous crossroads.

Will it choose a new leader that will return Northern Ireland's biggest unionist party to religious sectarianism, and arguably thereby drive large numbers of unaligned voters to Sinn Fein, or will the new leader continue Foster’s drive to reposition the DUP as a centrist party of unionism?

What happens matters not only to Northern Ireland but also to the future of the UK

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