"Brexit, there is a growing consensus that it imperils the union"

McSlaggart

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"Even among those who back Brexit, there is a growing consensus that it imperils the union of the United Kingdom, advancing the prospects of Irish unity and Scottish independence. As the DUP has been instrumental in bringing British politics to this point, what are the chances of Arlene Foster’s party facing an electoral backlash?"

I do not see a major backlash to the DUP vote in seats in which it would let the other side n.

It will interesting to see what impact it has on the views of young unionists/loyalists who take up Irish passports.
 


raetsel

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It's obvious that it poses a threat, and Foster knows it as well as anyone.
In 2013 she was trolling Mitchel McLaughlin on the issue of a border poll, with a "be careful what you wish for" tone, but earlier this year she was warning the faithful of the threat of one. We will see further DUP resistance to a referendum in the next few years, I'm sure, because they are scared sh1tless of it.
The Brexit referendum re-opened the issue in Scotland after just two years, when it had seemed to have been neatly shelved for the foreseeable future.
The implications of leaving the EU for the UK are profound for the very simple reason that the issue is so divisive. When a nation is as deeply divided as the UK is at present and the representatives of one half of the population is bullying through radical change entirely on its own terms without any concessions to the other half, social unrest is almost inevitable, particularly if those changes lead to falling living standards. The one reason it hasn't provoked a more strident backlash in England to date is because the opposition is mainly to be found in the educated and moderate middle classes, as was evident yesterday.
Democracy isn't just defined by simple majority rule, but depends on consensus as well.
 

Pyewacket

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Cameron was explicitly warned about this when he gambled on the Brexit Referendum. I don't have the citation to hand but I seem to recall the then American Ambassador said openly to him "Do you want to go down in history as the man who lost the Union?" (A very Lincolnesque formulation).

The UK has been governed by old Etonians who see politics as a game. Boris is no different. The classic conservative approach, when it was the party of the Union, used to be "Do as little as possible because the law of unintended consequences..." However that was a long, long time ago.
 

raetsel

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The irony of our current predicament is that Brexit throws up the real prospect of a border referendum which is won narrowly by the pro Irish unity side, and again the issue of a lack of consensus becomes live.
The backstop is the almost perfect compromise, and does have a reasonable level of consensus in the north, yet it is being blocked by extremists.
 

Pyewacket

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The irony of our current predicament is that Brexit throws up the real prospect of a border referendum which is won narrowly by the pro Irish unity side, and again the issue of a lack of consensus becomes live.
The backstop is the almost perfect compromise, and does have a reasonable level of consensus in the north, yet it is being blocked by extremists.
If I have learned one thing, it is that the old 50 plus one as in one vote not one per cent formula for a successful reunification poll was always problematic.

52 per cent versus 48 hasn't exactly worked out smoothly post-Brexit.
 

McSlaggart

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If I have learned one thing, it is that the old 50 plus one as in one vote not one per cent formula for a successful reunification poll was always problematic.

52 per cent versus 48 hasn't exactly worked out smoothly post-Brexit.
What would you suggest?
 

Pyewacket

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What would you suggest?
Not fifty plus one. The margin is too small. I would say you need a minimum (former) Unionist vote of 60 per cent in favour for there to be little point in trashing the referendum. I leave it up to the maths wonks to tell me how that would translate into a threshold for the referendum itself. I do now Enda Kenny constantly told Cameron he needed 65 percent of the UK electorate as whole to either vote yes or no for the whole thing to be valid, and not a dog's breakfast.
 

McSlaggart

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Not fifty plus one. The margin is too small. I would say you need a minimum (former) Unionist vote of 60 per cent in favour for there to be little point in trashing the referendum. I leave it up to the maths wonks to tell me how that would translate into a threshold for the referendum itself.

I would agree with you on this. The issue would be that unionists would not wish to accept such a proposal.
 

Pyewacket

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I would agree with you on this. The issue would be that unionists would not wish to accept such a proposal.
They may have to. Ireland and the UK could simply negotiate a change to the existing Treaty above their heads, as that is the sort of thing that is going on nowadays. They might face pressure from their own side to get on board, which would be a clear indication such a Referendum was likely to pass.

And that is my point. We have seen what reckless referenda look like, especially ones which are won by only 4 per cent. There is no need to go running off half-cocked in order to hold one ourselves, when it might become very. very clear the Referendum would pass by a larger margin. In that case the Unionists might be begging for a higher threshold, as they fear it would be won on say 58 percent.
 

McSlaggart

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They may have to. Ireland and the UK could simply negotiate a change to the existing Treaty above their heads, as that is the sort of thing that is going on nowadays. They might face pressure from their own side to get on board, which would be a clear indication such a Referendum was likely to pass.

And that is my point. We have seen what reckless referenda look like, especially ones which are won by only 4 per cent. There is no need to go running off half-cocked in order to hold one ourselves, when it might become very. very clear the Referendum would pass by a larger margin. In that case the Unionists might be begging for a higher threshold, as they fear it would be won on say 58 percent.
How large do you think the difference should be?
 

Mickeymac

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The existing GFA states 50% plus one vote, for unity or remain, all sides are signed up to that, to implement any change would require agreement which appears to be scarce these days anywhere.
 

Pyewacket

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How large do you think the difference should be?
As said, if you can get 60 percent of former Unionists to vote in favour, it is all over. I think 65 of Unionists voted to ratify the GFA, despite a huge OO campaign against it, and the DUP calling to boycott the vote, so I by no means think this cannot be achieved for a Border Poll.

Around 50% of NI people have no strong allegiances either way. It is the minority on both sides who get all the attention and the GFA was actually set up on the basis that there are only two sides, so you better get in one camp or another. That's how SF and the DIUP ended up being the big players.

I could see the economic argument winning out. The generation which grew up just after the GFA have far more in common with each other than they have with their Ould Fellas Who England's Might Defied or the Sash Wearing Grand dad. Mind you, the poorer and less well educated still cling to the tribal shibboleths because they have little else to console them.
 

McSlaggart

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As said, if you can get 60 percent of former Unionists to vote in favour, it is all over. I think 65 of Unionists voted to ratify the GFA, despite a huge OO campaign against it, and the DUP calling to boycott the vote, so I by no means think this cannot be achieved for a Border Poll.

Around 50% of NI people have no strong allegiances either way. It is the minority on both sides who get all the attention and the GFA was actually set up on the basis that there are only two sides, so you better get in one camp or another. That's how SF and the DIUP ended up being the big players.

I could see the economic argument winning out. The generation which grew up just after the GFA have far more in common with each other than they have with their Ould Fellas Who England's Might Defied or the Sash Wearing Grand dad. Mind you, the poorer and less well educated still cling to the tribal shibboleths because they have little else to console them.

If that would be the criteria why should nationalists allow northern Ireland to stay in the uk?
 

Mickeymac

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Shifting the goalposts in any peace accord, especially one signed up some 20 years plus ago, to satisfy one side of the divide, is a recipe for a complete breakdown of that said agreement and will only serve the interests of craicpots and warmongers.
 

Mickeymac

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If that would be the criteria why should nationalists allow northern Ireland to stay in the uk?

I have requested on many occasions as to what the extreme far right government in London and their buddies in the DUP have to offer/encourage the Nationalist people of the six counties to remain in a jurisdiction they want no part of?
 

Pyewacket

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If that would be the criteria why should nationalists allow northern Ireland to stay in the uk?
Because you are assuming that this is a show down between nationalists and unionists and if the nationalists win, yay, the unionists are beat and must be forced to accept it. That is how the brexiteers talk about the Leave vote and it is getting the UK into nothing but a horrible mess.

Now I do not want that to happen in Ireland.
 

Pyewacket

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Shifting the goalposts in any peace accord, especially one signed up some 20 years plus ago, to satisfy one side of the divide, is a recipe for a complete breakdown of that said agreement and will only serve the interests of craicpots and warmongers.
It is not shifting the goal posts, which by the way has already been done with the St Andrew's agreement. I can see the dangers of someone announcing "We have now decided that the threshold for the Border Poll must be sixty percent or seventy percent, or even 52 percent, because that was good enough for us when we left the EU." That would provoke the wrath and derision of people who want a Border Poll now, yesterday, or last week,

I am saying something different. That when a Border Poll takes place, there should be pretty strong evidence that a plurality of Unionist voters are either in favour of reunification or at the least "meh" about it.

"We won by one vote and the majority of yussuns voted the other way, sux boo" is just a recipe for more problems. That is pragmatic politics.
 

McSlaggart

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Because you are assuming that this is a show down between nationalists and unionists and if the nationalists win, yay, the unionists are beat and must be forced to accept it. That is how the brexiteers talk about the Leave vote and it is getting the UK into nothing but a horrible mess.

Now I do not want that to happen in Ireland.

It has already been agreed and voted on.

Some people may not like it but it has already been accepted in a vote.

If you wish to change the terms then it also must be voted on and accepted.
 

Mickeymac

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Because you are assuming that this is a show down between nationalists and unionists and if the nationalists win, yay, the unionists are beat and must be forced to accept it. That is how the brexiteers talk about the Leave vote and it is getting the UK into nothing but a horrible mess.

Now I do not want that to happen in Ireland.

The internal dispute/war within British Toryism over their views on European union should not be compared with the Nationalist desire in Ireland for reunification which was implemented by the British illegally and against the wishes of the Irish nation....and of course most of the International democratic community.
 

Pyewacket

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It has already been agreed and voted on.

Some people may not like it but it has already been accepted in a vote.

If you wish to change the terms then it also must be voted on and accepted.
You are not listening to my point. I am saying that pragmatically a Border Poll won by a slim majority, when the majority of Unionist voters went the other way is not going to deliver a smooth transition.

It is the fear of nationalist triumphalism, even if only coming from the small minority of professional nationalists whose job it is to rant, is one of the factors putting off moderate Unionists.
 


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