BREXIT: The Starters Gun for Irish Reunification?

GDPR

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Dave Cameron has fast-tracked the date of the UK's BREXIT Referendum to June 2016. Irrespective of the result, the UK's relationship with the EU will be altered, as Cameron seeks to negotiate changes to Treaties, and he has not ruled out quitting the EU altogether if these don't go well. The Dáil's Joint Committee on EU Affairs has called for Ireland to have a formal role in these negotiations, because under the GFA, the Republic has a right to be consulted on any matter affecting NI and its constitutional arrangements.

Should Britain vote Yes, then NI would be hit harder than almost anywhere else. BREXIT would have both a politically and economically destablising effect on NI. It would also have serious consequences for the Border Counties of the Republic, not to menton the Irish economy as whole, whose major export partner is the UK. European integration put the conditons in place for the GFA, as Ireland and the UK were already becoming more convergent through the EU. Business and employment, worker and student mobility,NI's access to the Single Market, CAP, structural funds and peace support would all go or be severely curtailed. A return to Border controls would equate to repartition.

Even if the UK votes No, it has signalled its willingness to pull out or redefine its place within the EU in a way which is not likely to favour NI. David McWilliams, the celebrated Irish economist, has an interesting article here in which discusses how the growing realignment of the UK and EU, ( as well as the possible break-up of the UK through a Scottish Referendum) could result in NI making a very quick decison on where its best interests lie. Demographic changes in NI mean there will be no sentimental loyalty to an increasingly remote and detached UK

United Ireland may not be as remote as it seems | David McWilliams

McWilliams also points out that when change happens, it happens all at once.
Co-incidentally, the Belfast Telegraph has also addressed this issue today, speculating on whether these shifts could be the starter for a renewed drive towards Irish reunification.

Why the EU vote could drive Catholic unionists towards Sinn Fein and a united Ireland - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

My gut tells me that if the question comes down to the money, honey, we are going to see PUL"unicorns" in greater numbers than you could shake a stick at. The middle-class business sector is loyal to business, first and foremost. Woudn't that be a turn up for the books?
 


GDPR

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Most Unionists, the vast majority, are opposed to the EU. I would also guess that a significant amount of Republicans are as well. The reason that UKIP have done a lot crapper than they could have in Northern Ireland is that they have attracted into them utter psycho Loyalists. It true though that in Scotland, Wales and now to some extent Northern Ireland the EU is more popular than in England due to the fact that it has been doing stuff that it was London's duty to do. However leaving the EU will be massively helpful for the UK economically, freeing up are ability to trade across the world as well as getting rid of the massive bill that Brussell's vampires off the UK. I in my pessesism have been believing that Cameron especially as our masters in Washington are agin a Brexit is lying about a referendum however if we do see the UK leave than it would make me strongly inclined to vote No in a border poll as long as the ROI remains within Brussel's fist. I would love to see the ROI out of the EU too.
 

GDPR

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Most Unionists, the vast majority, are opposed to the EU. I would also guess that a significant amount of Republicans are as well. The reason that UKIP have done a lot crapper than they could have in Northern Ireland is that they have attracted into them utter psycho Loyalists. It true though that in Scotland, Wales and now to some extent Northern Ireland the EU is more popular than in England due to the fact that it has been doing stuff that it was London's duty to do. However leaving the EU will be massively helpful for the UK economically, freeing up are ability to trade across the world as well as getting rid of the massive bill that Brussell's vampires off the UK. I in my pessesism have been believing that Cameron especially as our masters in Washington are agin a Brexit is lying about a referendum however if we do see the UK leave than it would make me strongly inclined to vote No in a border poll as long as the ROI remains within Brussel's fist. I would love to see the ROI out of the EU too.
That's not what the business sector or NI agriculture thinks ... or their equivalent in the rest of the UK, for that matter.

It would be a disaster for NI. However, leaving that aside "all that is solid melts into air." The UK is making moves which will inevitable see NI disporportionately affected by the lack of certainity over the UK'scontinued presence in Europe. Watch this space :)
 

statsman

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I'm confused; I thought demographics were going to bring about a UI. Now it's BREXIT. What's next week's catalyst going to be?
 
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T

Thomas_..

I'm confused; I thought demographics ere going to bring about a UI. Now it's BREXIT. What's next week's catalyst going to be?
The desperate will always find something to cling on, as long as they´ve not drown yet.
 

between the bridges

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T

Thomas_..

Most Unionists, the vast majority, are opposed to the EU. I would also guess that a significant amount of Republicans are as well. The reason that UKIP have done a lot crapper than they could have in Northern Ireland is that they have attracted into them utter psycho Loyalists. It true though that in Scotland, Wales and now to some extent Northern Ireland the EU is more popular than in England due to the fact that it has been doing stuff that it was London's duty to do. However leaving the EU will be massively helpful for the UK economically, freeing up are ability to trade across the world as well as getting rid of the massive bill that Brussell's vampires off the UK. I in my pessesism have been believing that Cameron especially as our masters in Washington are agin a Brexit is lying about a referendum however if we do see the UK leave than it would make me strongly inclined to vote No in a border poll as long as the ROI remains within Brussel's fist. I would love to see the ROI out of the EU too.
Perfect, just bring Ireland under British domination again. Your Republican friends on here would love the very thought of it, surely.
 

Glaucon

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It's unlikely that Britain will leave, and even if it does, most Unionists dislike the EU. If the economy tanks on the back of EU exit, perhaps - but ''no surrender'' isn't easily dispensed with.
 

former wesleyan

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Quiet day in the Glens.
 
T

Thomas_..

Vastly different economic realities have pitted the north against the south, with France not too sure which way to go. Germany has indicated that it has had enough and intends to lead Europe in a more Germanic direction – which is fine for Germany.
Such an Expression has not been made public in any media here in Germany, ergo, it is just his own "conclusion" in context to the "Play" of the Greek crisis, worsened by the Syriza government since they came to power in January this year.

The EU could well split between a core zone around Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, the Benelux and France, with a second Mediterranean group headed up by Italy and the Iberian countries.
Poland isn´t a member of the Eurozone yet and what one notices from the News coming in from Poland, the population there is rather not much in favour of taking the Euro to replace their present national currency. The Greek crisis and the way it was handled, has left some impressions on the Polish and their MP has the best insight into these past negotiations than anyone else in his country.

...
Armed with that idea, let’s look out now from the vantage point of 2016 and ask whether we might have a united Ireland before any of us thought possible or (maybe even) desirable. Might we stumble into a united Ireland in the same way we stumbled, quite unexpectedly, out of the United Kingdom?
...

Even given the fact that 23 per cent of parents of infants declared themselves as having no religion, we seem to be en route to a united Ireland.


It may happen much quicker than you think in the context of a wider EU and UK realignment. If the UK, as we know it, were to break up, the willingness of England without Scotland to prop up the North may well change. And according to the Belfast Agreement, if they want a United Ireland, we can’t stop them.


Now wouldn’t that be something for the 1916 heroes to digest? A Northern Ireland that wanted reunification and a Republic that is petrified by the prospect?
Who says that those 23% parents of infants with no religions would automatically be in favour of a UI? That´s all but his own theory and spinning of developments and decisions they could happen, but also may not happen.

The last line in his entry sounds a bit too exaggerated for my taste.
 

enoofu

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Doubt it will happen, doubt the EU will care much much either way.

UK removal from the EU will open them up to massive reciprocal retribution do to the Cyprus, Gibraltar, and Irish Question in the block.

Also doubt it will impact RoI much since the UK and RoI have so many treaties between them including trade and immigration.
 

Strawberry

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Brexit won't happen anyway. When the referendum campaign starts the UK electorate will be subjected to all the things Scotland experienced during the indy ref. Threats of capital flight, economic meltdown, political isolation, Barack Obama telling them it will threaten the "special relationship", demonization of any out campaigner, etc etc.

Meanwhile, no matter how paltry the results of Cameron's negotiations with the EU, they will be talked up in all the media as if all Britain's problems have been solved and everything in the EU garden is now rosy. The UK will vote to stay and that will be that.
 

Gurdiev

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Brexit would cause a crisis in Scotland .

Brexit could give NI the opportunity to become a more valued and more contributary member of the UK.

It aint gonna happen , becuase big business and finance will swing the referendum ( as they did with the Scottish independence referendum )
 

GDPR

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I'm surprised that everyone feels the EU Referendum will have no impact whatsoever on NI. That's not the consensus among economists or the political establishment.

Even with a vote to stay in, which is the most likely outcome, that does not mean the UK will remain in the EU forever, or on the same terms, or even that the Referendum itself won't affect political stability in the North and the rest of the UK.

The first effect will be seen over the run-up to the Referendum campaign when there will be a cooling towards NI exports and EU investment, as Eurozone hedges its bets. The second will be a revival of the debate on the place of all the devolved regions in the UK. Scotland, Wales and NI are overwhelmingly opposed to BREXIT: in England, there is greater divergence of opinion.

As we have seen in the case of Scotland, the mere fact of a Referendum taking place has short- and long-term consequences in altering the political landscape. That NI's future could turn on a decision made by an electorate many times its size and which is not thinking about NI when it goes to the Polls is itself an indicator of NI's relative importance to the UK as a whole.

Are we mistaking the point of McWillliam's article? It's not about whether Unification is desirable or not, but what are the factors in play which make the UK much more fissile than it appears.
 

physicist

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Most Unionists, the vast majority, are opposed to the EU. I would also guess that a significant amount of Republicans are as well. The reason that UKIP have done a lot crapper than they could have in Northern Ireland is that they have attracted into them utter psycho Loyalists. It true though that in Scotland, Wales and now to some extent Northern Ireland the EU is more popular than in England due to the fact that it has been doing stuff that it was London's duty to do. However leaving the EU will be massively helpful for the UK economically, freeing up are ability to trade across the world as well as getting rid of the massive bill that Brussell's vampires off the UK. I in my pessesism have been believing that Cameron especially as our masters in Washington are agin a Brexit is lying about a referendum however if we do see the UK leave than it would make me strongly inclined to vote No in a border poll as long as the ROI remains within Brussel's fist. I would love to see the ROI out of the EU too.
I'm willing to wager that the majority of Northern Irish unionists are willing to stay in the EU with reforms. The case for leaving the EU is based on tribalism, and the economic benefits case are based on ideological dogmas rather than evidence.

The UK will vote to stay in because it is Eurosceptic, but not Europhobic enough to take all kinds of risks in the world upon leaving.

It's okay to be Eurosceptic within the EU, the EU is lead by Eurosceptics who have enough Europhillia to keep a level of common ground on the things they do like such as the Common Market.

The EU is filled with red tape and bureaucracy not because of the federalists but because you have 28 proud nations trying to perpetrate from common ground.

Quite often no legislation can get passed simply because one nation can't accept the terms it wants to impose on other nations.

Jim Nicholson and Diane Dodds are not over enthusiastic about losing their jobs, and neither is Martina Anderson. Why is that?

Partially because there is no real Exit strategy for leaving the EU, only anti-EU agendas which haven't won a political consensus among the British public.

Brugges Group Tories, UKIP and militant left wing groups make such a weak political case because they don't factor in a nation with opposing views to themselves having to work at the nation they want to happen. Some crude hybrid between A libertarian UK and an authoritarian UK as long as everything in between gets thrown out with the bathwater.

It's reliant on soundbites and straw-man arguments... Federalization - Immigration/Border Control - The Euro - "Free Trade" - Repatriating Powers - Membership Fees.

Ask the same people how the rest of the world is going to change to suit the UK simply because it leaves the EU, and I don't think they could really speculate.

Getting back the £15 billion a year in EU fees is not going to wall up the border, fix the black holes in the NHS, renew Trident, police state the country against liberals and Romanians, raise defense spending, crackdown on international terrorism ... all the big spending commitments the LOONY RIGHT want to spend money upon, even if you scrap the £6 billion EU spending farm subsidies and science program spending is NOTHING Compared with the £0.1 TRILLION the UK National debt has increased in the last year alone.

The membership fees are bankrupting the nation argument is madness, it's smaller than what the UK has to spend as part of its NATO commitment annually.

Fighting the "human rights agenda" is not going to make the British public docile and susceptible to the UK media ... heck look who Labour voters want to choose as their next leader.

It's very thin on details about what will actually change in the world outside of the UK as a result of a BritExit.

There's talk about "Bilateral deals" with no mention about what the other side of that deal will want, that is a unilateral colonial attitude.
The EU would march on without British influence.
UKIP will lose a few MEP jobs and salaries.
Chinese people will still be speaking Catonese and Manderin rather than English, Brazilians Portuguese, and Indians Hindi
Foreigners will still be Foreign
Immigrants will still Migrate
Criminals will still be Criminal
Healthcare will still be Expense
Science will still be the only way to do "miracles"
The UK will not have the iron ore resources to restart the shipbuilding trade and other heavy manufacturers have that virtual continents like Australia and Russia have.
Climate change will go on.
The fish stocks of the Atlantic will not suddenly explode in celebration of British nationalism.

This is more about trying to implement an Orwellian police state that is not subject to the ECHR within an Anglo-Saxon world run by some artificial Anglo-American diarchy than even Oswald Mosley would be seen as a loony lefty within.

The only "Republicans" who want to leave the EU and have the UK and Ireland become like that are wannabe G.O.P.-ers.

Cameron certainly doesn't want to leave, he's steered the Common Market into the British or as Yanis Varoufakis puts it the Anglo-Celtic model ... and culturally similar countries to the British such as the Germans and other Northern Europeans including at times the Irish are all very happy with that. He's stopped the Tobin Tax, he's reduced the EU budget, he's probably going to get the benefit crackdown he wants but at the cost to British citizens on benefits in the other 27 nations ... top of that list is Ireland.
 
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GDPR

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It aint gonna happen , becuase big business and finance will swing the referendum ( as they did with the Scottish independence referendum )
It is not in the UK's economic interests as a whole to remain in the EU; if Big Business was entirely united on the matter like it seems to be in the ROI than why are so many in the Tory Party and Press EU withdrawalists?
 

Strawberry

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It is not in the UK's economic interests as a whole to remain in the EU; if Big Business was entirely united on the matter like it seems to be in the ROI than why are so many in the Tory Party and Press EU withdrawalists?
What have these withdrawalists said about the UK's relationship with the rest of Europe if they left the EU? Are they telling you the UK can be like Switzerland and Norway? If they are, take a sniff, your nose should detect a large rodent.
 
T

Thomas_..

I'm willing to wager that the majority of Northern Irish unionists are willing to stay in the EU with reforms. The case for leaving the EU is based on tribalism, and the economic benefits case are based on ideological dogmas rather than evidence.

The UK will vote to stay in because it is Eurosceptic, but not Europhobic enough to take all kinds of risks in the world upon leaving.

It's okay to be Eurosceptic within the EU, the EU is lead by Eurosceptics who have enough Europhillia to keep a level of common ground on the things they do like such as the Common Market.

Jim Nicholson and Diane Dodds are not over enthusiastic about losing their jobs, and neither is Martina Anderson. Why is that?

Partially because there is no real Exit strategy for leaving the EU, only anti-EU agendas which haven't won a political consensus among the British public. Brugges Group Tories, UKIP and militant left wing groups make such a weak political case because they don't factor in a nation with opposing views to themselves having to work at the nation they want to happen.

It's reliant on soundbites and straw-man arguments... Federalization - Immigration/Border Control - The Euro - "Free Trade" - Repatriating Powers - Membership Fees.

It's very thin on details about what will actually change in the world outside of the UK as a result of a BritExit.

The EU would march on without British influence.
UKIP will lose a few MEP jobs and salaries.
Chinese people will still be speaking Catonese and Manderin rather than English, Brazilians Portuguese, and Indians Hindi
Foreigners will still be Foreign
Immigrants will still Migrate
Criminals will still be Criminal
Healthcare will still be Expense
Science will still be the only way to do "miracles"
The UK will not have the iron ore resources to restart the shipbuilding trade and other heavy manufacturers have that virtual continents like Australia and Russia have.
Climate change will go on.
The fish stocks of the Atlantic will not suddenly explode in celebration of British nationalism.


This is more about trying to implement an Orwellian police state that is not subject to the ECHR within an Anglo-Saxon world run by some artificial Anglo-American diarchy than even Oswald Mosley would be seen as a loony lefty within.

Cameron certainly doesn't want to leave, he's steered the Common Market into the British or as Yanis Varoufakis puts it the Anglo-Celtic model ... and culturally similar countries to the British such as the Germans and other Northern Europeans including at times the Irish are all very happy with that. He's stopped the Tobin Tax, he's reduced the EU budget, he's probably going to get the benefit crackdown he wants but at the cost to British citizens on benefits in the other 27 nations ... top of that list is Ireland.
One of the very few posts that sums it up and make sense. Very good, well done and thanks for that.
 

devonish

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I'm surprised that everyone feels the EU Referendum will have no impact whatsoever on NI. That's not the consensus among economists or the political establishment.

Even with a vote to stay in, which is the most likely outcome, that does not mean the UK will remain in the EU forever, or on the same terms, or even that the Referendum itself won't affect political stability in the North and the rest of the UK.

The first effect will be seen over the run-up to the Referendum campaign when there will be a cooling towards NI exports and EU investment, as Eurozone hedges its bets. The second will be a revival of the debate on the place of all the devolved regions in the UK. Scotland, Wales and NI are overwhelmingly opposed to BREXIT: in England, there is greater divergence of opinion.

As we have seen in the case of Scotland, the mere fact of a Referendum taking place has short- and long-term consequences in altering the political landscape. That NI's future could turn on a decision made by an electorate many times its size and which is not thinking about NI when it goes to the Polls is itself an indicator of NI's relative importance to the UK as a whole.

Are we mistaking the point of McWillliam's article? It's not about whether Unification is desirable or not, but what are the factors in play which make the UK much more fissile than it appears.
I doubt if there is any consensus amongst economists on the impact of the referendum, intuitively I think that the UK is probably better off inside the EU than outside, I'd have a stronger view that NI is better within the EU than outside.
Uncertainty over the referendum is short term, negligible long term effects. If the UK was to exit (and it's a big if), then there is huge uncertainty as to the outcome, not just for NI but across Europe, add into the mix the problems caused within the euro zone of being tied to a currency dominated by Germany and it's anyone's guess as to what could be triggered by a UK exit.
The one thing that McWilliams correctly identified is that change can be sudden, it can also be change which is entirely unexpected something which he eluded to. We are naturally inclined to underestimate the probability (qualitatively or quantitatively) of what we would consider as rare events happening, it leads me to the conclusion that I haven't a clue as to what the actual outcome would be and no one else is much wiser.
 

statsman

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I'm surprised that everyone feels the EU Referendum will have no impact whatsoever on NI. That's not the consensus among economists or the political establishment.

Even with a vote to stay in, which is the most likely outcome, that does not mean the UK will remain in the EU forever, or on the same terms, or even that the Referendum itself won't affect political stability in the North and the rest of the UK.

The first effect will be seen over the run-up to the Referendum campaign when there will be a cooling towards NI exports and EU investment, as Eurozone hedges its bets. The second will be a revival of the debate on the place of all the devolved regions in the UK. Scotland, Wales and NI are overwhelmingly opposed to BREXIT: in England, there is greater divergence of opinion.

As we have seen in the case of Scotland, the mere fact of a Referendum taking place has short- and long-term consequences in altering the political landscape. That NI's future could turn on a decision made by an electorate many times its size and which is not thinking about NI when it goes to the Polls is itself an indicator of NI's relative importance to the UK as a whole.

Are we mistaking the point of McWillliam's article? It's not about whether Unification is desirable or not, but what are the factors in play which make the UK much more fissile than it appears.
If the voters elect to stay in, then the UK will remain a member, but in a weakened position because they'll have played their ace and lost. I'd expect the constituent parts of the union to be fairly quiet about the EU for quite some time thereafter.
 


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