The View poll suggests link between Brexit and demand for Border Poll is febrile (at best)…

One thing to understand about Northern Ireland is that we don’t do really polls, we still mostly do elections. As far as the constant feedback loop, it’s the land that time forgot. There are so few outlets who can afford real out in the field polling that it rarely happens.

Tonight, yet again, the BBC stepped into the breach and tested the climate in the post-Brexit era regarding the business of having a Border Poll. So let’s get to the main theme first, Brexit appears to have had no significant (-2% is below the margin of error) change…result5-1

That’s not to say there is no change. But it is pretty clear that: 1, we remain a very long way from the point at which there’s any justification for a border poll within Northern Ireland; and 2, that amongst some sections of the community there is a mildly growing appetite for some form of unification.

Some of those who said they wouldn’t over back in the Spotlight poll in 2013 seem to have accepted that the only way to effect such change is to get out and vote. In that regard, there may be a positive story, but the prospect for northern Irish republicans and nationalists remains as grim as before.

It may be as David Ford said this evening that what we’re seeing is a short-term emotional reaction to the Brexit poll. He further argued that what’s needed is some material attention to making Northern Ireland work. Clare Hannah though is probably closer to the mark “we have seen what happens when you ask a raw binary question driven by base nationalism”

result6

I’d raise two issues. One is that there is little doubt many Catholics look upon the EU in more charged terms than their Protestant as a supra-national bond between the two parts of the island. The fact that it may not have materially functioned in that way matters less than the feeling it imparts.

The other is the way the rise in pro-unification sentiment amongst Catholics does not seem have affected overall sentiment in the degree you might expect from a polity in which the numerical equalisation of the two communal blocs might have led us to expect.

result7Much post-Brexit rhetoric was massively overcooked, particularly on the Remain side, which seemed massively unprepared for the outcome (I know I was). In some the emotional change has been extreme but, in the broader population, the link between one and the other has been barely felt.

Christopher Stalford is quite correct to point to the often extreme emotional reaction on the part of some Remainers (writing as one myself) being out of kilter with the public mood on the doorsteps.

I suspect that the unification question suffers from serial misframing. It’s long been a mainstream Scotland figures that are most revealing of a widespread conceit in suggesting that if Scotland were to leave it would inevitably lead to the end of the UK.

For the most part, in advance of your actual Scoxit, doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference…

result-11

The link is not illusory. But in NI, where the lead Nationalist party thought as little as 22 years ago that war-war was better than jaw-jaw. That’s been supplanted by a certainty that demography would do the job incumbent on politicians to rebuild a material bridge between north and south.

,

  • eireanne3

    No it’s a Scottish Government Survey. The SNP is hardly a group of cybernats. Pity you haven’t updated your information or its sources since before the Independence referendum. In July 2016, the SNP had over 120,000 members which is around 2% of the Scottish population. Currently the party has 63 MSPs, 54 MPs and approximately 400 local councillors.

  • eireanne3

    “What is the alternative to the crude binary question that we haven’t got already?”
    One alternative is what the scottish national survey is using:
    A scale of, for example, 1-10 to quantify feelings about how important a range of variables are e.g britishness, scottishness, belonging to the EU, the NHS, etc https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/post-brexit-polls-and-their-results/

  • Oggins

    I think Alvin is letting his political opinion shade the facts.

    Far from a failed stated….

    A state at partition that no viable economy, a state that was on its knees 10yrs ago and is one the strongest growing economies in an uncertain Europe.

    NI on the other hand bleeds jobs in manufacturing, is losing its best educated people to G.B, the republic and elsewhere

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Well, tbh i’d agree with you, but, if the holiday is such a deal breaker then surely it’d be better to limit it to Ulster.

    That being said, as an Ulster nationalist i’d prefer to have less internal antagonism

    Also, as a person of Presbyterian heritage i’d prefer not to have a holiday revolving around a king who didn’t give a monkey’s about us…. (but ssshhhh! Don’t tell them that )

  • Oggins

    Na bud, doesnt matter if your a Martian, with right wing mind set. We all love days off!

  • Oggins

    So can detailed the failures?

  • Zig70

    However I am optimistic that events will overtake SF, same as they did for socialist republicans in 1916. There is an energy about in the nationalist community is going to be pretty hard to bottle.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Was declining … past tense.

  • Karl

    Brexit hasnt happened. Britain is seeing an export bounce from sterling dropping like a stone. The outworking of more expensive imports has yet to be seen or even fed into subsequent exports.
    When the full deal is done expect people views to change radically when they realise exactly what Merkel and Sarkozy have done to ensure there are no subsequent exits.
    The pain is coming. Report the polls once Brexit has happened not when its still 2+ years off.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    It is one of the great ironies of partition that it is primarily fear of taxation from a new Dublin Home Rule Parliament which inspired the northern Unionists leadership to oppose the Third Home Rule Bill, and that the partition they invoked ruined their wealth by effectively blocking much of their market and so crippled both economies at their birth. The Anglo-Irish trade war of the 1930s did little to help either polity.

    As you say, the south has created an economy of some resilience, while the very mindset of an only marginally viable economic unit in the north has ensured stagnation and dependency.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Interesting, Alvin, that you should think that “the chattering classes fall over themselves in a race to show each other who can be the most tolerant and liberal” is somehow a minus issue! For me that is one of the most appealing characteristics of the New Ireland and shows an ernest of just how positive a move re-unification will be for those who are now living in a society still rigid with ideological polarisation, just as their re-unification was for the East Germans a little while back.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    My own suggestion would be the Ascension Day of King James II & VII (23rd April), whose espousal of “Toleration” in the intensely polarised world of the late seventeenth century should be seen as an example to us all:

    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674073098

  • Reader

    eireanne3: No it’s a Scottish Government Survey.
    https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/9223/snp-aim-reach-2-million-scots-national-survey-independence
    That’s from an SNP press release – looks like an SNP survey to me! Perhaps you’re suggesting that if the taxpayer is funding an SNP project that makes it a Scottish Government Survey?
    If that is the case, that would be ugly, wouldn’t it?

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    Christopher Stalford should realise that his position was defeated in Ni so it’s he who is out of kilter with the view on the doorsteps. The concept of the UK is what’s febrile.

  • Brendan Heading

    David Ford comes across strongly unionist. He has taken the Alliance well away from looking cross community.

    Comments like this amuse me. If David Ford is “strongly unionist” what is “weakly unionist” and where are Ian Paisley or Edward Carson on that scale ?

  • Brendan Heading

    That energy, at the moment, appears to be being expressed in the form of a decline in the overall nationalist vote.

  • Brendan Heading

    22% in Belfast for unification. Sounds very much like nonsense to me

    The findings in this poll, overall, are that about half of nationalists would not vote for reunification at this stage. Belfast has a slight majority of nationalists. Half of one-half is a quarter, and that sounds close enough to 22%.

    The BBC says 80% of people haven’t changed their veiw since the brexit vote. I say 20% have then, and that sounds just fine to me.

    A result is a result; but to me it looks very much as if nationalism has missed a trick. The result was the opportunity for nationalism to reach into its back pocket and pull out a comprehensive plan to reunite the country. That they couldn’t is symptomatic of a “movement” asleep at the switch.

  • Brendan Heading

    The consistent message I keep reading from republicans, underscored by comments such as this, is that they think they don’t have to be bothered coming up with a plan because events will do the job for them. Not long ago, the theory was that demographics would deliver the change; now they’re expecting that brexit will do the job.

  • Brendan Heading

    Yeah. But the Agreement which SF signed up to says there won’t be a poll unless there’s a chance of the poll passing.

  • Brendan Heading

    Yes Daniel the bar has been set high regarding a border poll

    I don’t think the bar has been set that high. All nationalists need to do is win 50% of the vote. Until about six years ago, they were getting closer, with around 42.7% of the vote. Since then, the vote has slipped back to 37%.

    Nationalism needs to ask itself hard questions about why it, increasingly, can’t get its vote out.

  • Brendan Heading

    You are misreading it. The Agreement says that a minimum of 7 years must pass before another poll can be held. It does not say that polls are automatically held every 7 years.

    It is unlikely we will see a poll unless, as a minimum, that nationalist parties are winning 50% (or more) of the vote.

    A major problem for nationalists is losing a border poll would cause the test for a poll to become strengthened. Say nationalists win 50% of the vote, but only 40% vote “yes” to reunification. The Secretary of State can then say that nationalists need to win significantly more than 50% of the vote in order to justify the next poll.

  • Brendan Heading

    22% in favour of Irish unity, in the context of all the brexit uncertainty and a run on Irish passports, is an utter defeat for nationalism and a complete humiliation of Sinn Féin

  • Brendan Heading

    Ciaran, I’m not an SDLP supporter. Never have been.

  • Croiteir

    I have been banging that drum ever since the referendum, the GFA was nothing more than a capitulation of nationalism and the justification of unionism, as far as Irish unification is concerned it raised more barriers and so made it more difficult to achieve.

  • eireanne3

    Maybe it could be called Republic Day!

  • Croiteir

    An a king who did? Just for conversation

  • Brendan Heading

    I understand the capitulation argument, but not around polling and constitutional matters. Under the GFA, the British government are now committed, in law, to bringing about a united Ireland if a poll is held which shows that the majority in NI want one. They are also committed to holding one if it can be shown that it would be likely to pass.

    It does not, fundamentally, seem unreasonable that nationalists should have to demonstrate support for reunification before a poll is held. That they are stuck at 37% is a problem only they can solve.

  • Croiteir

    They alway did acknowlede that a majority would change the consitutional arrangement. The NI Constitution Act 1973 says “It is hereby declared that Northern Ireland remains part of Her Majesty’s dominions and of the United Kingdom, and it is hereby affirmed that in no event will Northern Ireland or any part of it cease to be part of Her Majesty’s dominions and of the United Kingdom without the consent of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland voting in a poll held for the purposes of this section in accordance with Schedule 1 to this Act. ” The Ireland Act 1948 says that it would be a majority in the NI Parliament that would change it and the Government of Ireland act 1920 gave the provision for reunion as the vote of the two Irish Houses of Commons for it. (It is in section 3).

    So the commitment in law was always there from partition in British Law, they only thing which has change from 1920s is instead of the two houses of commons, north and south, deciding the vote will be by the people north and south contemporaneously and separately. However the seniority of the British Govt over the wishes of the people of Ireland is acknowledged implicitly as the sole arbiter of when this will take place is the SoS so deems it. Talk about tugging the forelock. (I note that you seem to believe that this is a good thing).

    I do believe that it is unreasonable for the Irish to demonstrate that their nation can only be united by act of a foreign power.
    That is why I have no time for the border poll.

  • Croiteir

    I have no problem with the 12 July being a national holiday if it is so important for unionism, however I do notice the hypocrisy of the stance in that they have not and do not extend the same consideration for nationalism by creating the 15 August a holiday.

  • mickfealty

    Technically, that is true. What I’ve been struggling to figure is what if any use that can be put to…

  • Declan Doyle

    It’s a big improvement on where it was and it’s a good start.

  • cu chulainn

    People vote nationalist to bring about the conditions for a United Ireland. Those parties have not done this and unfortunately seem more interested in their own jobs.A border poll will clarify the issues that need addressing and if nationalists make up 50%+ of the NI population then these issues must be addressed, and when they were a second or third poll would do the trick.

  • Declan Doyle

    Which is something you see to be eternally happy about, I would hate to be you when it turns.

  • mickfealty

    It’s all talking up and talking down. Comparisons between north and south are misleading, given the disadvantage NI had in handling a politically divisive and economically destructive insurgency which did not obtain in the south.

    On the other hand it is fifty years since free post primary education (this weekend) was introduced in the Republic. It emphasises the advances in stablising and solidifying the southern states actual independence with few resources.

  • Oggins

    Agree Mick,

    But with either side of the troubles, there is enough evidence and stats to show that the NI economy was failing. The fact that our local economy is what it is depresses me.

    The south has had a roll coaster since partition, some would disagree with some policies, but you cant agree that its a failed state.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    No, quite unfitting, has the Loyal Orange Institution not insulted the poor man enough already with that caricature they represent him through? Perhaps a more fitting “Republic Day” date might be the so called “coronation” date for the Dutch Usurper, 11th April.

    Interestingly, when the tomb of James at St Germain was opened during the French Revolution, some local Jacobins, remembering perhaps the role of the Stuarts in the spread of enlightenment thought, chided the would be looters for desecrating the grave of a poor “Sans Culotte King” who had suffered greatly himself from the perfidy of far more wicked men angered by his policies of general religious Toleration and concern for his people.

  • Alan N/Ards

    “Done. There’s nothing insurmountable there, apart from the “right to retain British citizenship”, which is up to the British government to decide. But I can’t see Westminster stripping British citizenship from those that already have it. And I daresay people will still work on the 12th. I worked it when I lived in NI.”

    I think that the GFA has already secured the right to British citizenship if a UI comes about.

    Article 1

    The two Governments
    (vi) recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to
    identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland.

  • mickfealty

    How do you measure that then Croit?

  • Thomas Barber

    Brendan does it actually say in the GFA that Nationalists must make up or win 50% of the vote in elections before the SOS will consider calling a border poll ?

  • Declan Doyle

    Well demographics will do part of the ‘job’ in the sense that if one traditional community is declining in numbers whilst the other is increasing the potential for successful persuasion on the argument is somewhat easier.

    However, the time is not ideal now or in the next ten years. As we stand nationalism has pretty much won all the equality and tights based issues it fought. Irishness is very much part of the North and growing.

    However, there us still an economic cost to keeping the North afloat, a cost which is being borne by the English taxpayer. It is sensible to wait until such time as the Nationalist and irish orientated and non aligned population has reached critical mass before holding a poll.

    Ten maybe twenty years from now, the colour on the ground might be very different, with London having paid for it.

  • Gavin

    I suspect that the poll is accurate for right now. However there has never really been any questioning of the status quo by the mainstream media. One simple question that could be asked is why 95 years after the formation of NI people are happy to live in a region that is poorer than other region in the UK and economically failing? Others would be : Why is the subvention allowed to used as an excuse for continuing the link with the UK rather than being regarded as a damning indictment of a failing state? Why do the media pretend that the South’s economy is poor when it is far more successful than the Norths? Why are wages in North so far below the South and why is this not honestly shown by the media? Why is using a failing NHS as a reason against a UI not challenged?

  • Declan Doyle

    No, he is a true Republican most likely who believes in fairness and equality. Beating Unionism or Dominating Britishness should not be on the table. I am a republican and I would never accept any settlement which would seek to deny that section of the community their rights.

  • eireanne3

    it’s introduced as a National Survey, without any SNP branding on it,

    Feel free to harbour all the suspicions you want.
    That’s all they remain – your suspicions

  • mickfealty

    Declan,

    That was full on man playing. The idea that someone else might not share your world view is not a radical one, and it is frequently the case here. It matters not what Brendan you or I might feel about the drop in the nationalist vote, it is a fact.

  • Thomas Barber

    Im a republican myself Declan but I would not dream of imposing my republican ideals/wishes/demands/whatever on the minority community and at the same time I would not accept the minority community imposing their ideals/wishes/demands/whatever on the majority, there should be no preconditions on any new agreed unified Ireland.

  • eamoncorbett

    Did you say “free” Mick there’s nothing free about the ferocious price of school books , sundries like uniforms , transition years and a host of smaller items to many to mention.

  • Croiteir

    Come on Mick, you know that I have often laid out my reasoning – just track the performance of the two parts of Ireland since partition – a reasonably simple compare and contrast.

  • Tarlas

    I fully agree with your observations. I apply “follow the
    money” or “he who pays the piper calls the tune, in relation to the biases of
    NI media. The BBC weather coverage is amusing; one would think a majority of
    people make the daily commute to England, Scotland and Wales to work. Whilst weather patterns that may affect our economic trade with our neighbours; south of the border are curiously ignored. Sad really!

  • AntrimGael

    Declan appears to be of the opinion that anyone not on the Sinn Fein love in bus must be sent to re-education camps in Donegal. You have to admire his North Korean loyalty.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Noted. Agreed.

    Funnily enough I was discussing this very event today, what are its origins? There’s so much guff on the internet I did not know what to discount.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Touche.

  • OneNI

    You can prove that a big whack of the Catholic population dont want a UI by the fact that when there are ‘proper polls’ they increasing dont bother to vote

  • OneNI

    ‘where it was’ surely it was alot higher in 70, 80 and 90s?

  • Thomas Barber

    Yet at the same time AntrimGael the assumption by unionists that the lack of participation in British elections by increasing numbers of nationalists can be equated as supporting the union is just as arrogant if not deceitful.

  • Declan Doyle

    Pointing it out and gloating about it are two completely different things. I was merely trying to express to the service user that things can turn around and the gloating can bite you in the ass. In fact I think I provided a full on public service there.

  • Croiteir

    I found this to be interesting – they seem to suggest that parading started substantially from the Irish Volunteers, who had a large Williamite element, combined with the political & social developments and the wider parading and banner tradition in Europe

  • Croiteir
  • Brendan Heading

    In fairness to Declan he is entitled to his view. It’s a shame it is wrong.

    If people are going to go around talking about the “energy” among nationalism for reunification, it is inevitable that someone is going to point out that this is at odds with the electoral results. Why lie to yourself ?

    I have no particular problem with the idea of Irish reunification in theory. I think that brexit has changed the field of play and that, if we enter into a period where leaving Europe precipitates serious economic decline, as I fear it may do, that we need to consider all the options. I find nationalism’s inability to make the case thoughtfully to be very disappointing. It is caused, in no small part, by the arrogance of SF and its leadership.

    I think a reunified Irish state could work. It would be expensive and would involve a lot of belt tightening. People would have to face some serious decisions over, for example, public healthcare provision and the level of public spending. There would be tough calls to be made over “culture” and protecting the position of unionism. Speaking personally those are things I might well be prepared to accept if the prize is worth it.

    But Sinn Féin aren’t interested in making that case. They’re trying to say there are no downsides. They’re not addressing the unionist position, seriously. They’re also not dealing with the fact that a lot of people really don’t like the IRA. It’s also extremely confusing that SF are going around at the moment talking down the Irish economy. They’re saying the place is full of poverty and inequality with rich people shafting everyone.

  • Brendan Heading

    I have no problem with the possibility that nationalists might turn things around, Declan. It wouldn’t be a bite in the ass; it would be an opportunity for everyone to have a serious discussion about the future of this country. That discussion isn’t currently taking place, and it’s not good.

    But that said, I don’t think things are going to turn around. brexit has provided an opportunity for nationalism which they seem to be incapable of taking advantage of. The drop in the electoral results are not a one off; they are a trend that has been in place for five years. Normally, standing over disappointing electoral results would mark the end of a party’s leadership team. SF’s failure to critically analyze its own leadership shows that their priorities lie elsewhere.

  • Brendan Heading

    However, the time is not ideal now or in the next ten years. As we stand nationalism has pretty much won all the equality and tights based issues it fought. Irishness is very much part of the North and growing.

    Yes, that’s right. Unfortunately that presents a problem for Sinn Féin, which has traditionally argued that equality, rights and all the rest cannot be achieved as long as partition exists. If those things can all be achieved, why is it so important to end partition ?

    However, there us still an economic cost to keeping the North afloat, a cost which is being borne by the English taxpayer. It is sensible to wait until such time as the Nationalist and irish orientated and non aligned population has reached critical mass before holding a poll.

    That is not what SF are saying in public.

    Ten maybe twenty years from now, the colour on the ground might be very different, with London having paid for it.

    SF must make the case for reunification without it having to be paid for by London.

  • Declan Doyle

    Brexit hasn’t happened yet. Article 50 has not been triggered and no consequences have been felt. As another poster pointed out, it will be a couple of years yet before we know how Brexit is actually going to play out on the ground.

  • Declan Doyle

    Oh that old nugget again. Shinners are north Korean whilst all others in the north are positively Swiss? Supporting a party and defending it’s position is hardly radical even if it upsets some that SF can muster such broad support. The re education camps in Donegal are actually secret caves full of crayons and blank canvass where we all go to draw adoring pictures of the great leader. Whoever draws the best one wins a prize, usually a night away in pyong yang or a day trip to Garvaghy road, it’s so cool. Baaaa

  • Brendan Heading

    It sounds like you’re trying to make excuses for nationalism’s complete lack of a strategy.

  • Declan Doyle

    It sounds like you are refusing to acknowledge reality

  • Declan Doyle

    It would be dream come true for opponents of Irish Unity and opponents of SF if the party produced a plan, only to have it knocked back by Unionists, the stoops, London and more importantly Dublin. There is not much point in brining in a nice bottle of Malbec to a party of teatotalers and there is no point in SF producing plans unill such time as external forces such as Brexit or demographics push the issue centre stage. You only have to look at the reaction to recent reports on the economic viability and possibilities if Irish Unity to see that potential dance partners are not ready to take to the floor. So, calling for a border poll every few months is a sensible tactic, keeping the conversation alive whilst at the same time working on a strategy for presentation when the right moment arrives.

  • eireanne3

    they direct, rather than reflect, public opinion

  • babyface finlayson

    Neil
    Some of that 20% (or 17% actually I think,) changed their view from being in favour of a UI to wanting to stay in the UK.
    Although the questions look confusing to me, being in the form;
    ‘did you change your view OR was this always your view’
    and asking for a yes/no answer.

  • mickfealty

    Ah, ya don’t get off that easily Croit (I rarely do)…

  • Skibo

    Problem with a vision of what a United Ireland looks like is similar to the issue of what Brexit means. There are a number of possibilities and various plans. There is no united nationalist front as to what is best for Ireland as a whole.
    Before a vision of Ireland is published, there must first be agreement on what that vision would be and then employ a PR expert at how to put across.
    I believe the reduction in the Nationalist vote is more to do with a rise in the overall Unionist vote garnered by the Flag issue. I expect the effect of that, along with quieter parading phases, to allow the Unionist vote to fall in line with previous reductions.
    With Catholic/ Protestant head-counts to be on par from next year on, from 2021 on, especially with the changes in the constituencies, times they are a changing.

  • Skibo

    I believe, had this poll been carried out straight after the Brexit poll, the results would have been different. Problem is, at the moment we are in stasis, still in the EU yet in agreement that we are leaving. We have not tasted the pain of leaving yet.

  • Skibo

    BF check the posts above. Calling a poll does not automatically mean a poll every 7 years. It means you will NOT have one for at least another 7 years.

  • Skibo

    Not true. There are Republicans who refuse to have anything to do with a British election, no mater how much of an N Irish gloss is put on it.
    My concern would be even convincing them to vote in a border poll that was restricted to NI only.

  • Skibo

    Reader read this.
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/democratic-unionist-party/belfast-telegraph-poll-shows-strength-in-union/377767762277687/.
    7% in 2012 to 22% in 2016.
    As long as the economy in ROI continues on its upward trajectory that increase will continue.
    The NHS is not as black and white as alot would imply.
    Only when a border poll is called will a full discussion be carried out.

  • Obelisk

    This seems to be building what could prove to a false confidence, that Brexit was harmless and that leaving was the right choice. It makes the predictions remain made during the campaign seem apocalyptic. The problem of course is that the effects of this decision will be felt over years rather than months. Things have changed utterly, probably for the worst and we just don’t see it yet.

    We will however.

  • Karl

    The UUs seem to have an idea of whats coming given they issued their wishlist. Infra spending trebled, enterprise zone status, guarantees that no one loses any EU money, oh and they want Common Travel Area maintained AND no border controls at British entry points.
    The latest epistle from Planet Bonkers

  • Obelisk

    Which is, of course, impossible. Even the government is only guaranteeing EU spending for a set period of time…probably they’ll then proceed to attempt to wean us all off it to make do with less.

    My personal fear is that it might come down to some form of hard border versus flashing our passports if we travel to Great Britain. One entails collateral economic damage, the other’s cost is mostly symbolic.

    Would Unionists really suffer economic damage of that scale for a point of obscure principle?

    Yes they would.

    Hopefully if that choice comes up, common sense prevails and they are overruled in the better interests of everyone, including themselves.

  • Karl

    They certainly would do that for their ‘principles’ but on this occasion it will be the EU and the British govt dealing over their heads. Their objections will be quickly noted and quickly ignored. They might start accepting that like their own, the british commitment to the union is not limitless.
    The british govt will not sacrifice one iota of economic agvantage to england for the sake of the optics of keeping a semi detatched recalcitrant tenant the fig leaf that they have any meaningful role in Brexit negotiations.

  • Reader

    Declan Doyle: It sounds like you are refusing to acknowledge reality
    Where SF “reality” means “stuff that hasn’t actually happened”?

  • Reader

    Skibo, the article said “With only 7% of Catholics surveyed suggesting they would vote to remove the border and less than half even countenancing the notion within 20 years” it looks like this was a reference to a poll that had multiple questions on the subject, and different questions from those in the recent poll.
    So why compare 7% with 17% and celebrate;
    instead of comparing “less than half” with 17% and despairing?
    Especially since even the 17% is based on a speculative question based on Brexit and its future consequences.

  • Declan Doyle

    In case you missed it the Brexit vote has actually happened, try to keep up.

  • Croiteir

    aye – but I am just an ignorant scumbag from the sticks – you however are a sophisticated denizen of the latte land known as Holywood. More is expected of you than me.

  • Croiteir

    and there is no reason to suppose why they would not, historically the British were very accommodating.

  • Obelisk

    ‘SF must make the case for reunification without it having to be paid for by London.’

    The North is an economic basket case, divorced from the rest of it’s natural economic unit.

    It is so warped some local politicians openly mock cases for Irish unity on the basis that our economy is too dysfunctional for them to afford.
    Think about that for a second! They rely on our poverty and the fear of holding what little we have rather than trying to improve our lot through a new constitutional settlement that may actually provide.

    Frankly, I think if our politics weren’t so cankered by tribalism and sectarianism, the case for unity would have triumphed long ago.

  • babyface finlayson

    Skibo
    Thanks. I did say minimum 7 year wait.

  • mickfealty

    They certainly weren’t serving latte up on the High Street last time I was a denizen of that there nice wee seaside town.

  • Zig70

    I think the drop in the vote is because Stormont isn’t relevant, there is little incentive to vote for donkeys in flags. Different from nationalist feeling that they are part of a thriving community.

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