Sovereignty change?

Mitchell McLaughlin in a speech in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, challenged Unionists to declare whether they support the transference of sovereignty in the event that a majority in the North vote for it.

On the face of it, it is hard to see the relevance of this concern. Particularly since the Belfast Agreement states in its first clause:

“The participants endorse the commitment made by the British and Irish Governments that, in a new British-Irish Agreement replacing the Anglo-Irish Agreement, they will recognise the legitimacy of whatever choice is freely exercised by a majority of the people of Northern Ireland with regard to its status, whether they prefer to continue to support the Union with Great Britain or a sovereign united Ireland”

It doesn’t seem to matter what one side or the other thinks or says; the agreement is only binding between the two governments. Most local players will have to follow the discretion of the electorate as interpreted by the governments of Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

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