Rishi Sunak has turned into something of a statesman – now he also needs to be a salesman
For all the encomia heaped on this Conservative prime minister, an unfamiliar phenomenon in recent times, the Windsor Framework only represents the first of the great political prizes that Rishi Sunak may yet secure.
Having “got Brexit done”, finally, Mr Sunak is now presented with the opportunity to restore the power-sharing arrangements in Northern Ireland, and with them help to preserve peace. If Mr Sunak manages to get the Democratic Unionist Party to rejoin the executive and take their seats in the assembly, then he will deserve yet more paeans of praise from friend and foe alike. Unlikely as it may seem, this courteous technocrat, only an MP since 2015, is turning into something of a statesman.
Now, however, he needs to be a salesman. The DUP is a tough audience at the best of times, and their recent electoral setbacks, pushed into second place by Sinn Fein in the Stormont elections last year, have not left them in the best of humours. The sometimes irksome workings of the Northern Ireland protocol were a still more potent source of grievance, and many unionists felt that they were being edged out of the UK.