Daniel Hannan, Daily Telegraph blogger, staunch Eurosceptic MEP and romantic unionist warms to his theme.
Like most British people, I love Ireland. It’s a separate country, but it’s not really foreign. The Irish talk as we talk, dress as we dress, eat as we eat (and, tragically, drink as we drink). We watch the same television programmes, follow the same football teams, shop at the same chains. We share that half-humorous, half-cynical mode of conversation that sets us apart even from other Anglosphere nations.In fact, Britain and Ireland are joined by pretty much everything except politics: history and geography, habit and outlook, commerce and settlement, blood and speech.
But mightn’t this same welcome trend make it easier to bring about a united Ireland one day? And isn’t his euroscepticism stretched too far? Such an acute observer of political behaviour should also concede that however penetrating the complaints about bureaucratic strangleholds and affronts to national democracy, the great EU project is carrying on, bloodied but unbowed, towards some as yet unknown destination, with all of us on board.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London