In London this weekend speaking on whether the UK can survive a border poll?

On Sunday I’ll be part of a panel at the Battle of Ideas festival discussing the motion: The Irish Border Question: Can the Union Survive? The panel comprises myself and three others.

Chair is Kevin Rooney, a native of Belfast who recently launched a new blog at advocating for a border poll as a way of expediting a the route to a politically unified island.

Andrée Murphy is a Deputy Director of Relatives for Justice, a columnist with Belfast Media and is a prominent member of Ireland’s Future which seems to be positioning itself as a framing body in any future referendum.

Peter Cardwell – is the only declared “Unionist” on the panel and former special adviser to two NI Secretaries, who has argued strongly that most talk of unification takes place over the heads of unionism, and is therefore unrealistic.

Peter Ramsay is an academic and part of The Full Brexit. He argues that the current Brexit settlement is producing such a drag on the original intention of Brexit and therefore Brexiteers should want Northern Ireland should be let go.

In an oped piece in The Irish World this week, Kevin describes my own position as being ‘in between’ in the sense that alone of all the panel members I’ll be taking the title as an exam question rather than advocating for a specific outcome.

The GFA grants all citizens of Northern Ireland (without exception) the right to aspire to different constitutional futures. It also grants them the right to screw it up by acting in the near term in ways that will surely undermine that aspiration.

I don’t believe change (per se) is the problem. How we manage all necessary changes and avoid tearing each other apart is more vital than widely appreciated, whether in the furtherance of the Union or in a prospective United Ireland.

Without giving away too much about my presentation (you’ll have to come to hear that), there’s a debate to be had about the future if we can get beyond our obsession with the mere fact we have the means of constitutional change.

If you are in London at the weekend, there’s a series of excellent cut-price ticket deals for students (£27.50 for the weekend); school pupils (free for a day and £10 for the weekend); and reductions for concessions here.