Steve Baker says a United Ireland referendum should need a ‘super majority’…

The Northern Ireland minister also said he now regrets that the UK’s Brexit vote did not require support of 60 per cent of those who voted. From the Irish Times:

Mr Baker, one of the leading figures behind the leave campaign in the run up to the 2016 vote, said he regretted now it did not require the support of 60 per cent of those who voted in the often-bitter referendum.

He said he believed the referendum would not have been carried had that been the case and that the UK would not have left the European Union.

Speaking in Co Kildare at the half-yearly meeting of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly on Monday, Mr Baker said: “Would anyone here seriously want a 50 per cent plus one united Ireland result in Northern Ireland? I speak personally,” he told the meeting.

“I deliberately say it like that because some of you I know would (want a 50+1 result). But just reflect on the trouble we had from running a 50 per cent plus one referendum in the United Kingdom.”

Noting his own support for the UK’s exit from the EU, Mr Baker, who led the Conservatives Party’s pro-Brexit European Research Group, said they had not “properly prepared” for some of the consequences of Brexit.

So the guy who backed Brexit now regrets it?? You can imagine the general reaction from Nationalists to any attempt to move the goalposts on a border poll will be a resounding feck off.

Mind you, it all depends on the question. If the question was ‘Should Northern Ireland stay in the Union’ and there needed to be a 60% super majority voting to STAY in the Union then I imagine Nationalists would soon warm to the idea of a super majority.

Meanwhile over in the BelTel Sam McBrides musses on the possibility of ‘What if a British prime minister used a border poll to deliberately destabilise Ireland, distracting Britain’s nearest competitor and deterring investors worried about the inevitable volatility?‘ From the article:

What if a border poll were more of a threat to Ireland than it is to Britain? To many people, whether nationalist or unionist. that will sound absurd. But in a changing world, what was true five years ago might be out of date.

Many people assume that the British government will be neutral in a border poll. Even most of those who think London will support the Union in that situation think such support will be minimal. Even the most optimistic unionist expects little help from their prime minister; more than a century of let-downs and betrayals have convinced them of the importance of securing the Union themselves.

But winning or losing isn’t the only outcome of a referendum. What if a British prime minister used a border poll to deliberately destabilise Ireland, distracting Britain’s nearest competitor and deterring investors worried about the inevitable volatility?

This hypothesis was put forward by Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy in a lecture at University College Cork earlier this year, but went unnoticed. Although dismayed by Brexit, he questioned the received orthodoxy that leaving the EU will inevitably be economically disastrous for the UK. It could, he said, mean a “more competitive, and perhaps aggressive Britain”. He thinks Ireland can meet that challenge, “but this should not be assumed”.

Central to his theory is this idea: The UK wasn’t neutral on Scottish independence and it wasn’t neutral on Brexit; what if it has a strategic interest in a border poll, whenever that might happen?

McCoy, who a few months earlier warned against the damage of “neverendums” – repeated destabilising referenda — said: “The uncertainty of a referendum could be quite beneficial to a competitor; and very firmly Britain now is a competitor and will be a competitor to the Irish business model”.

I have often thought a resurgent English Nationalism would turn their eye to how much of their tax money goes to subsidise us. How big a threat is the UK telling us to sling our hooks?

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