Northern Ireland votes narrowly for Remain, but what does it mean?

Well, what a night. The final Leave vote will be much narrower than the Yes Vote was in Scotland, and the result much more profound. Although getting out of a long-standing contract with the EU will be a little more complicated.

Much of the rapid movement in the money markets have already been exaggerated because they underestimated the likelihood of Britain (we can now legitimately say that) leaving the EU. But it is not going to go away any time soon.

Every initiative that has shaped Europe has originated with the British Eurosceptics. The EU is quite as big as it is because the Eurosceptics of an earlier era wanted to weaken its institutions and prevent them from going too deep.

They failed. And they may well fail another time again.

Northern Ireland has voted Remain, but by a much smaller margin than many people had forecasted. Polls began at about 70/30 but they settled at the upper end of the range at 55/45.

Predictably Sinn Fein has responded by calling for a border poll. That’s a plebiscite that they are almost certain to not to get (such is the weakness of northern nationalism at this time). This time, at least. As my oul da used to say no one remembers second place.

More significant will be how the medium term negotiations between the Irish government and the UK go. Don’t count on Scotland leaving either. There’ll be no Labour party in the short term, but even if Brexit is successful the EU will then be drifting out of sight.

Though the truth is I suspect that something important has snapped today. Talk to Brexiteers in England and it is only England they care or even think about. Scotland barely figures, much less tiny little Northern Ireland.

It’s England’s borders that the vast majority of pro-Brexit voters care about. That’s how it was pitched to them and that is exactly how it was heard, loud and clear. And that it is likely how it will be implemented going forward.

There will be enhanced opportunities for smuggling along the border. And the City will pay a heavy price for such a major default on its prior commitments. In the short term at least, Dublin will profit from London’s difficulty. Then climate will kick in.

But that border is as likely to run down the channel as it is across the land tracts between the senior northern and southern jurisdictions. As the song says, “it’s only a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder”.