For someone so young, Joel asks a mean exam question…
“In any serious discussion on a truly ‘new’ Ireland, UK membership ought to be on the table.”
— Joel Keys (@JoelKeysNI) December 11, 2021
It comes just as a poll of southern opinion shows there’s no appetite for change to attract people of a British background to a United Ireland. I expect that’s people don’t believe it’s a realistic prospect.
Pat Leahy reports…
There is a high degree of resistance to measures which could accompany or facilitate a united Ireland. Asked if they would accept a new flag, 77 per cent of people said they would not; 72 per cent would not accept a new anthem and 71 per cent would not accept rejoining the Commonwealth.
There were small majorities among voters who expressed a preference on the question of closer ties to the UK (47 per cent in favour, 42 per cent opposed) and having unionists in government in Dublin (44 per cent in favour, 42 per cent opposed).
But voters also said they would not accept higher taxes (79 per cent) or less money for public services (79 per cent).
Unity is always popular in the south, but few actions have been taken to make it more likely, perhaps because the south cannot have a say on change until/unless NI votes to leave the UK.
No more than the rest of the UK will have say on it. The Belfast Agreement leaves Northern Ireland’s future entirely entirely in the hands of the nearly 2 million citizens who actually live there.
So why should the option of it remaining British not be on the agenda? You can be sure that if a much speculated upon Citizens’ Assembly was ever called that option would have to be properly explored.
Indeed, you could argue that it has a solemn duty under the Belfast Agreement to make sure all options on the future have at least equal weight in the examination of evidence.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty