Colum Eastwood argues for a Border Poll after Brexit process

At the SDLP manifesto launch, Colum Eastwood was asked by the Irish News Political Correspondent, John Manley about a border poll and here is how he responded;

I want a border poll, we’ve just made it a lot more winnable, because of the work that Mark and our MPs did in Westminster with David Davis. The work that we did in negotiations  when we were talking about lots of different things, we were talking to the British Secretary of State with making sure that we get re-entry into the European Union…

We think there is a route for actually winning a border poll…I think that will need to happen after Brexit.

Eastwood did stress that it was important to work on engaging with Unionists and building a reconciled Ireland, rather than focusing on just getting better election results. He argued for a Unity Poll to be seen as a key part of rejoining the EU, rather than a narrowly focused issue.

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  • Marcus Orr

    Re-partition is a no-no, firstly because of the 1998 Belfast Agreement surrender to Sinn Féin/IRA, and secondly because (logically) it is ridiculous to assume that you can have a viable “state” that consists only of large parts of Down and Antrim.
    At some point we unionists need to wake up and smell the coffee brewed from the 1998 surrender of our govt. to terrorism (with friendly sponsorship from Billy Clinton and his Irish American voters). There is no way around this. The GFA allowed for (apart from full prisoner release on all sides, dismantlement of the RUC, full withdrawal of the British army (with no corresponding disarmament by Sinn Féin/IRA) a vote on the union every 7 years. If we vote 80-20% for the union this year (as the opinion poll by the BBC back in 2013 suggested) we simply try again. And try again. And again. And again. And, if necessary, again. The 1st time we get 50,01-49,99 % for a United Ireland it is all over, the British Govt. withdraws quicker than lightning from NI and we have a United Ireland, irrevocably, for evermore (providing the South votes for it too). The whole thing is rigged and decided in advance through the GFA surrender. The only thing left to do (for unionists) is to establish links to FG/FF in the South in the remaining time in order to negotiate and agree some cultural safeguards. FG/FF are also (obviously) alarmed about the SF growth North and especially South and need to counter that growth.
    Only interesting question that remains for us unionists is can we ensure a peaceful changeover of power in a future united Ireland (no loyalist violence?) and can we achieve goal nr. 1 which is to block Sinn Féin from ever reaching majority govt. in a future all Ireland parliament. We have to start planning for this today.

  • Robin Keogh

    Lucid talk poll last December showed 44% in favour of unity.

  • grumpy oul man

    Will unionism promise all of the above. They after all started the violence!

  • MainlandUlsterman

    What’s holding them back from setting out the full picture now?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    We’ve seen Indie Ref in Scotland and the Brexit ref in the whole UK – if these have been extremely divisive and a distraction from the real problems we need to solve, an NI ref would be that to the power 10.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    But you’re seeing a pro-UI as inevitable – is that because of what you think the demographic data suggests? Because I had a good trawl through it the other day and you’ll be pleasantly surprised as a unionist. I did a couple of long posts on this yesterday if you’re interested. Polls bear this out too. In short: coming generations are more pro-Union than the middle aged cohort. We are probably passing through Peak Nationalism now and over the next 30 years as the nationalist bulge works its way through – but the bulge is limited. There is little prospect of that meaning a majority for a UI, possibly ever. Doom-mongering unionism is doing swaggering Republicanism’s work for it by being freaked out by some actually quite misleading population stats. Take a look more closely.

  • Marcus Orr

    44.4% was the “potential” in favour of unity, not all of that number was sure that they would vote that way.

  • grumpy oul man

    Yep you did, but would not be better sking the loyalists , they carried out the first shootings nd bombings and the are still at it.
    Its truly amazing that you can go on about SFs past and what happened 30 years ago but re not in the least concerned about the terrorists who have murdered twice in a few months and are working closely with the largest unionist party.

  • Marcus Orr

    “But you’re seeing a pro-UI as inevitable – is that because of what you think the demographic data suggests?”
    I think it is fairly inevitable due to the way things are set up, any border poll is a provisional result (even if e.g. 80-20% in favour of UK) and is repeatable every 7 years, any 50,01 -49,99% decision for UI is decisive, that means irrevocably a United Ireland for evermore. So of course the Belfast Agreement has rigged things fairly positively for the nationalist/republican camp, and negatively for the unionist camp, in that the border poll is continuously repeatable until we get the “right” result.
    On the demographics I’m not an expert but I think that it seems clear that right now (2017) the union is obviously safe as houses if the vote is done this year, there’s no way to get to a majority vote for a UI, unless something very strange happens. However in about 20-30 years there ought to be a fairly solid Catholic majority in Northern Ireland, at that point it will be the Catholic, traditionally nationalist population who will have the decision in their hands alone. Maybe by that time there will be less support amongst them for re-unification, who can tell ?

  • North Derry Celt

    So then is their also a decent argument for an Islamic Caliphate in England, after all the same conditions apply.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Are you familiar with the character colonel Cargill from catch 22…?

  • grumpy oul man

    Uep.
    As a matter of fact that book should be compulsive reading for everybody in NI.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I think if there were a pro-IS caliphate region of the British Isles, its constitutional status would be the least of our and their worries, we’d be at war with it.

  • North Derry Celt

    I agree, however if it is wrong to set up Islamic caliphate in England then it must also be wrong to set up a British caliphate in Ireland, indeed one need only look at the striking similarity’s between the penal laws and sharia law to see how close the two ideologies are .

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Really?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I think I’ll let other readers evaluate that comment. Just, wow …

  • MainlandUlsterman

    No it didn’t.

  • Skibo

    Until the poll has been called what is the point? The Southern parties will not fully commit until one is called.
    A Brexit poll was called with no plan at all. We are approx 10 weeks into the two year time span and we still do not have a plan!

  • North Derry Celt

    Ok, lets take a look shall we?

    Groups like ISIS will move into an area set a caliphate and exclude all
    other religions and nationalism with draconian laws and punishments. A caliphate is an Islamic state. It’s led by a caliph, who is a political and religious leader who sets laws and governs all aspects of life.

    The roll of the monarch at the time of the penal laws would closely copy that of a caliph, combining both religious fundamentalism and state in the same body
    The Penal Laws were introduced in the year 1695. Their primary purpose was to wipe out Catholicism in Ireland (and also dissident Protestantism), and also to wipe out any notion of an Irish identity by banning such things like the Irish Language, this same mentality can still be seen today with the resistance to an Irish language act and hatred towards the Catholic church.

    The use of slavery as a tool of subjugation of the ethnic populous is another striking similarity, but why should this surprise us? as both Islamic fundamentalism and Colonial empire building have so much in common, that is destroy the local population and plant a copy of your own identity.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a7db4096575f3a53df9a16ef22cb8d2ef66af252ebd0df8dbe23def53a6a329e.jpg