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Unionists and a United Ireland.

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  • 14-12-2019 9:06pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 51,652 ✭✭✭✭tayto lover


    Following the recent Northern Ireland elections and the huge Conservative poll in mainland Britain would Unionists now be better off in a United Ireland if Britain leaves the European Union?


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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Following the recent Northern Ireland elections and the huge Conservative poll in mainland Britain would Unionists now be better off in a United Ireland if Britain leaves the European Union?


    What do you think yourself or do you not have an opinion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 51,652 ✭✭✭✭tayto lover


    What do you think yourself or do you not have an opinion.

    I don’t know if they would be better off or not. That’s why I’m asking.


  • Registered Users Posts: 887 ✭✭✭Abel Ruiz


    What do you think yourself or do you not have an opinion.

    What's your opinion???????


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 39,136 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle


    The English government have shown the unionists what they think of NI unionists by throwing the DUP under a bus at the earliest opportunity.
    At the same time, the Irish government stood firm with the EU in ensuring that the wishes of the NI electorate were listened to and that trade for NI remained as it had been with no barriers to the EU.
    If the unionists cannot see the wood for the trees now then they never will!


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,552 ✭✭✭✭Mr.Nice Guy


    The fact that the EU have said a reunification vote will see NI immediately return to the EU, and not have to face any sort of waiting period, is a huge boost for the pro-unity argument if Brexit goes badly.

    Add in the potential for Scotland to vote for independence within the next 5 years and that would also make the case even more compelling. I can't see English people, who are increasingly asserting their identity, being willing to wrap themselves in the Union flag if the Scots tell them cheerio. And Sturgeon has made clear she wants an independent Scotland to be part of the EU as soon as possible.

    Imagine then a situation in 10 years' time where the ROI and Scotland are part of the EU, enjoying the benefits of membership, while NI's economy is struggling as a distant satellite to an England and Wales that is looking increasingly inward and treating the place as a total afterthought (more even than now).

    I think in that scenario plenty of unionists will say to themselves, maybe it's worth exploring whether there is a better alternative.


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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    The English government have shown the unionists what they think of NI unionists by throwing the DUP under a bus at the earliest opportunity.
    At the same time, the Irish government stood firm with the EU in ensuring that the wishes of the NI electorate were listened to and that trade for NI remained as it had been with no barriers to the EU.
    If the unionists cannot see the wood for the trees now then they never will!

    the English Parliament ceased to exist in 1707. I would have thought a politics mod would have known that.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    Aegir wrote: »
    the English Parliament ceased to exist in 1707. I would have thought a politics mod would have known that.

    Mod Note

    No need to be a smart alek. Lots of people conflate English and British. Everyone knows what he means.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,325 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Aegir wrote: »
    the English Parliament ceased to exist in 1707. I would have thought a politics mod would have known that.

    95% (345/365) of Conservative MPs were elected in English constituencies. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/2019UKElectionMap.svg

    There are more English Conservative MPs (345) than there are MPs for all the other parties (285) put together.


  • Registered Users Posts: 67,424 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    Unionists know that since the GFA Britain has tacitly withdrawn, it will not put up a fight for them in the event of a poll, they will remain neutral at best on the matter as a government.
    They also know and fear (the belligerent ones anyhow) that a UI is happening by osmosis since the GFA too and that Brexit will hasten that process.
    I think that explains the weird strategy that they adopted with Brexit, they hoped to shock the whole process and create borders and put insurmountable pressures on the GFA.
    I don't think they bargained on Dublin outmanouvering them.

    What they have done is cause the entire Unionist population to assess their future now in a very realistic way, as an afterthought at best in Westminster and fodder at worst to be sarcrificed in the interests of England. Scotland are facing up to the same reality.


  • Posts: 0 Noa Plain Store


    It has finally dawned on the DUP that Westminster wants rid of the North.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 67,424 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    It has finally dawned on the DUP that Westminster wants rid of the North.

    The reason the DUP hated the GFA so vociferously is because they knew that was what the GFA was - Westminster more or less saying they were happy out.

    They never admitted it publicly, but now because they forced the British to drop them so publicly you have the likes of Bryson openly discussing and admitting it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,585 ✭✭✭✭briany


    It has finally dawned on the DUP that Westminster wants rid of the North.

    The penny hasn't dropped that slowly since Francis Rossi of Status Quo sported a ponytail for 30 years before finally deciding it looked naff and cut it off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,552 ✭✭✭✭Mr.Nice Guy


    Jonathan Powell, former chief of staff to Tony Blair and a respected commentator on Brexit, has said he reckons Irish unity could be on the way in ten years:
    "Once you put a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland’s going to be part of a united Ireland for economic purposes," he told the BBC.

    "That will increase the tendency toward a united Ireland for political reasons, too.

    "I think there is a good chance there will be a united Ireland within 10 years."

    https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2019/12/17/news/brexit-could-lead-to-united-ireland-in-a-decade--1792498

    There was a very interesting discussion on this afternoon's Talkback show on BBC NI radio discussing those comments, and whether Brexit has made reunification more likely. Begins from 9:00 on:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000cb0s

    Emma Little-Pengelly, who lost her South Belfast seat, was on, as was the commentator Brian Feeney,and a few others. Interesting moment where reporter Hugh Jordan said he was told by a well-placed source that at a meeting in Dublin, a senior DUP politician said the Union was finished within 15 years.

    Surprising number of unionist callers who said they were now willing to support reunification based on the manner in which the DUP handled Brexit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,803 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    The most important aspect of any discussion on a united Ireland is who leads it - ironically, Stephen Donnelly may have helped today by calling on the Government to lay out its own unity plans, as taking the focus away from Sinn Féin makes it far more likely that the centre ground in NI will engage in the debate. Better still, perhaps a cross-Border forum like the Citizens Assembly, but involving business, religious, sporting, cultural groups etc, might be best placed to work through the various issues as they arise.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,573 ✭✭✭Infini


    Though it's a bit of a running joke from Star Trek there's a few bets reunification could happen in 2024 in an eeriely similar way to how the Simpsons predicted a Trump Presidency (though different means of course)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭BENDYBINN


    Old unionists and old republicans are dying out fast.
    Young people can see the bigger picture and will not be tied in to outdated bigoted religious beliefs........expect big changes


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,619 ✭✭✭Feisar


    So a border poll will happen sooner or later and sooner or later will return a yes vote.

    Will the Republic vote to take them?

    I wouldn’t think so, a lot of people view “nordies” as a breed apart and once it would effect their pockets would quickly loose any misty eyed notions.

    First they came for the socialists...



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,733 ✭✭✭Sunny Disposition


    It’s going to happen within 20 years. Unionists way better off of it happens. One of the many terrible effects of the IRA was they delayed unification and the impact is still being felt, unionists still reflexively opposed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 67,424 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    The most important aspect of any discussion on a united Ireland is who leads it - ironically, Stephen Donnelly may have helped today by calling on the Government to lay out its own unity plans, as taking the focus away from Sinn Féin makes it far more likely that the centre ground in NI will engage in the debate. Better still, perhaps a cross-Border forum like the Citizens Assembly, but involving business, religious, sporting, cultural groups etc, might be best placed to work through the various issues as they arise.

    The all party committee with the input of some unionists too have done some work on it already.
    I agree it has to be led by the government of the day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,363 ✭✭✭✭Del.Monte


    It won't happen anytime soon and a border poll would only serve to drive people more into their respective laagers. Young people this, young people that is just simplistic bs. Even the moderate Republicans that I associate with aren't prepared to 'give an inch' on simple things like the flag and anthem so what are the hardliners likely to offer.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,218 ✭✭✭✭NIMAN


    As much as I would love to see a UI in the next decade or 15 years, I think that's a bit optimistic.

    Some of the things which will delay it?

    - people say older bigoted people are dying off. I see plenty of examples of bigoted youngsters. Just look at all the bonfires every July.

    - it's assumed all Catholics in the north are in favour of a UI. I think it's safe to assume plenty would vote to remain part of UK in the case of a border poll.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,552 ✭✭✭✭Mr.Nice Guy


    Feisar wrote: »
    So a border poll will happen sooner or later and sooner or later will return a yes vote.

    Will the Republic vote to take them?

    I wouldn’t think so, a lot of people view “nordies” as a breed apart and once it would effect their pockets would quickly loose any misty eyed notions.

    This is an assumption often thrown out with little evidence to back it up. An RTE/TG4 poll from this summer showed 65% in favour, 19% against. When undecideds were excluded, it was 77% in favour.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/fresh-plea-for-border-poll-as-survey-shows-65-back-united-ireland-1.3905167

    Many have friends and even family north of the border. We cheer on sportsmen and women from the north when they represent us. That stuff matters and resonates.

    The lesson from the equal marriage and abortion referendums is that personal stories connect with people. I find it hard to believe that when the likes of former president Mary McAleese, sports stars from the world of rugby & GAA etc. and other notable personalities throw their weight behind unity that the majority in the south will pull up the drawbridge and say 'nah, we prefer to be divided'. That's not the country I know.


  • Registered Users Posts: 67,424 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    This is an assumption often thrown out with little evidence to back it up. An RTE/TG4 poll from this summer showed 65% in favour, 19% against. When undecideds were excluded, it was 77% in favour.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/fresh-plea-for-border-poll-as-survey-shows-65-back-united-ireland-1.3905167

    Many have friends and even family north of the border. We cheer on sportsmen and women from the north when they represent us. That stuff matters and resonates.

    The lesson from the equal marriage and abortion referendums is that personal stories connect with people. I find it hard to believe that when the likes of former president Mary McAleese, sports stars from the world of rugby & GAA etc. and other notable personalities throw their weight behind unity that the majority in the south will pull up the drawbridge and say 'nah, we prefer to be divided'. That's not the country I know.

    There isn't a political party willing to represent partitionists either and there won't be, because those who turn a blind eye are a tiny minority.
    They will have to get behind loudmouths of journalism like Eoghan Harris and Ruth Dudley Edwards. Oh and John Bruton probably. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,554 ✭✭✭Charles Babbage


    Feisar wrote: »
    So a border poll will happen sooner or later and sooner or later will return a yes vote.

    Will the Republic vote to take them?

    I wouldn’t think so, a lot of people view “nordies” as a breed apart and once it would effect their pockets would quickly loose any misty eyed notions.

    They had no problem having Mary McAleese as president for 14 years. A lot of people in the 26 counties would relate to Naomi Long (say) before the likes of the Healy-Rae tribe.

    People in the 26 counties will grumble about unity before and afterwards, and will throw a party and fly the (new) flag at the time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,619 ✭✭✭Feisar


    This is an assumption often thrown out with little evidence to back it up. An RTE/TG4 poll from this summer showed 65% in favour, 19% against. When undecideds were excluded, it was 77% in favour.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/fresh-plea-for-border-poll-as-survey-shows-65-back-united-ireland-1.3905167

    Many have friends and even family north of the border. We cheer on sportsmen and women from the north when they represent us. That stuff matters and resonates.

    The lesson from the equal marriage and abortion referendums is that personal stories connect with people. I find it hard to believe that when the likes of former president Mary McAleese, sports stars from the world of rugby & GAA etc. and other notable personalities throw their weight behind unity that the majority in the south will pull up the drawbridge and say 'nah, we prefer to be divided'. That's not the country I know.

    Points taken, I work with a load of lads from Northern Ireland and get on great with them so a non issue for me however the question is not clear cut.

    First they came for the socialists...



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,054 ✭✭✭✭markodaly


    A UI will look very different from how people imagine it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 67,424 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    markodaly wrote: »
    A UI will look very different from how people imagine it.

    You got the DeLorean working then mark!


    Why would your 'imagining'(which is what it is, unless you really do have time travelling abilities) be any more reliable than anybody else's?


  • Registered Users Posts: 506 ✭✭✭Maewyn Succat


    Unionists are a funny bunch so it's hard to know how they think. They cling on to the whole union thing as if it's the most precious part of their existence. The UK government couldn't care less about them and most people in England see them as just as Irish as Michael D Higgins or Conor McGregor.
    There's no point thinking about a border poll until the dust settles on Brexit and it's effects are seen by the people of Northern Ireland but the tide does seem to be turning.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    This is an assumption often thrown out with little evidence to back it up. An RTE/TG4 poll from this summer showed 65% in favour, 19% against. When undecideds were excluded, it was 77% in favour.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/fresh-plea-for-border-poll-as-survey-shows-65-back-united-ireland-1.3905167

    When people are asked if they want a United Ireland in principle, there is usually support. However, it becomes far less certain when the costs are factored in.

    With regard to the original question, unionists are a bit of a political oddity in that they prize nationalism above all else. Everything I've read about unionist sentiment up north is that a significant number of them would still prefer to maintain the union, even if it meant they were worse off. Now, having said that, maybe the realities of Brexit could alter that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 67,424 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    When people are asked if they want a United Ireland in principle, there is usually support. However, it becomes far less certain when the costs are factored in.

    With regard to the original question, unionists are a bit of a political oddity in that they prize nationalism above all else. Everything I've read about unionist sentiment up north is that a significant number of them would still prefer to maintain the union, even if it meant they were worse off. Now, having said that, maybe the realities of Brexit could alter that.

    The thing about these polls on cost is that the 9/10/11/12/ billion figure is based on Britain leaving tomorrow and us continuing to run NI as is.

    It is not how anyone sensible is proposing how it will happen.


This discussion has been closed.
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