In the long term, it looks like Britain is eventually going to be partitioned. Yes, partitioned. Yes, I'm aware of the irony.

But consider the facts, if Brexit happens Scotland will simply have to consider its options and the most effective one will be independence. And for the first time in our lifetimes, Northern Ireland is looking equally in play.

Scotland made its view on Brexit plain in the referendum, voting 62% to 38% to remain within the European Union.

Northern Ireland's voters decided 56% to 44% to remain, yet they are now faced with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) the most one-eyed, recalcitrant political party in broader UK politics marching them all lockstep into the very outcome they dread.

By the numbers, these are both completely unsupportable developments.

Yet the DUP acts and speaks as though it has been granted an insuperable mandate (it received nothing of the kind) and Westminster acts and speaks as if the DUP is the only political party operating in Northern Ireland (contradicting the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement).

It has been fascinating to watch the DUP's single-minded pursuit of the only outcome that it cares about, uninterested or unaware of the growing backlash it's generating within its own border.

For two years now they have overplayed their hands, tone-deaf to how they sound or look to others in their jurisdiction and elsewhere.

“And what if excess of love Bewildered them till they died?” Those are Yeats' lines and he was speaking of Irish revolutionaries not Ulster unionists, but fundamentalism can take root anywhere.

Today are we witnessing an  excess of love guiding the policy positions of the DUP? What if that excess of love is driving them toward the very outcome they dread too?

Haven't they noticed the silence of their political opponents?

LGBT Pride Belfast

LGBT Pride Belfast

First of all young people in Northern Ireland are voting with their feet and leaving in droves. They have been doing so for decades. It has no jobs.

90% of those surveyed there worry about their employment prospects. And just 20% feel good about the future of the place. Those numbers are insupportable.

Stormont has been shuttered for two years now and the DUP are pursuing Brexit against the democratically expressed wishes of over half of Northern Ireland's electorate. What do they imagine will happen to them when that electorate strikes back?

Meanwhile young people there also rightly perceive the DUP as hostile to the forces of pluralism, failing every litmus test that indicates the party is fit for purpose in the modern world.

Deeply hostile to marriage equality for LGBT citizens and openly hostile to gay rights generally, they also oppose abortion rights and are widely perceived as being anti-immigrant and anti-women's rights. If these issues are litmus tests for the kind of society  Northern Ireland wants to be – and they are – then the DUP has slapped the place with a failing grade.

In terms of human rights, the contrast between the Republic and Northern Ireland has become a canyon. One is a dynamic and outward-looking pluralist nation with a European and global outlook and the other looks increasingly like a never-ending episode of The Handmaid's Tale. There will be no prize for guessing which the young gravitate toward.

Northern Ireland is no country for young men, or young women, or gay people. That's not the recipe for a confident future. That's the recipe for another siege.

In the past, the unquestioned supremacy of the dominant unionist culture meant that they could defy all calls to account for themselves. Might made right.

But in 2019 that kind of power play will only further isolate them as the pariahs of British politics.

Brexit has introduced the DUP to modern Britain, and the marriage has not been a success. Now that they have had a good look at each other, there is no reason to assume it ever will be.

This long affair has never looked as unrequited.

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