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Ireland United?

Old 18th Jan 2020, 12:37
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Ireland United?

Interesting op-ed by Matthew Paris in today's "Times" noting how the demographics and opinion in Ulster is moving towards a united Ireland - 10-20 years max he seems to reckon.

What struck me is that he says N Ireland cost the UK taxpayer more per year than our net contribution to the EU..............................
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 12:49
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
What struck me is that he says N Ireland cost the UK taxpayer more per year than our net contribution to the EU..............................
Which is why when the inevitable Unity referendum occurs here in the Republic, I’ll be voting no. We simply cannot afford to subsidise them.
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 13:42
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Originally Posted by Una Due Tfc View Post
Which is why when the inevitable Unity referendum occurs here in the Republic, I’ll be voting no. We simply cannot afford to subsidise them.
OTOH you have will probably have either a question which means 'yes' whichever way you vote or keep voting till you get it right.
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 15:20
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
OTOH you have will probably have either a question which means 'yes' whichever way you vote or keep voting till you get it right.
Unfortunately I think you are right on the second point, even if there is a no vote initially, it will keep coming back every few years. Personally I think that realistically both Britain and Ireland now view Northern Ireland as more trouble than it is worth, at least at a government level. I don't think many tears would be shed in Westminster if NI left the UK.
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 16:02
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Originally Posted by Una Due Tfc View Post
Which is why when the inevitable Unity referendum occurs here in the Republic, I’ll be voting no. We simply cannot afford to subsidise them.
Partitionist mentality right there. But you'll be in the minority. A yes vote is inevitable in Ireland. Maybe not so North of the border. A tight result might not be accepted by the British side despite the devotion to the 'will of the people' we've seen lately.

In any case there will inevitably be a transition period perhaps lasting years. One of the reasons NI is a burden to the British taxpayer is the reality that unlike the rest of Ireland there is less inward investment. That won't improve with it out of the EU. There is absolutely no reason the six counties should be a burden to the rest of Ireland any more than any other region of Ireland.

When it happens as seems inevitable there will have to be compromises on both sides.

There is also the risk of a few diehards on the 'loyalist' side resisting. It is after their professed nightmare scenario.

Time will tell.
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 18:27
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Originally Posted by Una Due Tfc View Post
Which is why when the inevitable Unity referendum occurs here in the Republic, I’ll be voting no. We simply cannot afford to subsidise them.
Which echoes exactly the views of all my Irish rellies and friends in the Wexford and Cork areas. "We don't want 'em!"

CG
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 18:33
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Standard prayer at Sunday Mass, along with those for the sick etc, “Dear Lord we pray for a united Ireland”.

Which the congregation always repeated, with the muttered addendum, “just not yet”....
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 19:32
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Interesting op-ed by Matthew Paris in today's "Times" noting how the demographics and opinion in Ulster is moving towards a united Ireland - 10-20 years max he seems to reckon.

What struck me is that he says N Ireland cost the UK taxpayer more per year than our net contribution to the EU..............................
Most of these calculations about regional subsidies appear to be nonsense. When I was at university the British economy was apparently being kept afloat by Scots whisky and there does not appear to have been any relative decline in the Scottish economy since that time.
It is worth remembering that much of the south-easts income comes from skimming off percentages from other peoples income. When the other people go, the percentage tends to go with them.

Last edited by occasional; 18th Jan 2020 at 20:19.
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 21:01
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Originally Posted by Steepclimb View Post
Partitionist mentality right there. But you'll be in the minority. A yes vote is inevitable in Ireland. Maybe not so North of the border. A tight result might not be accepted by the British side despite the devotion to the 'will of the people' we've seen lately.

In any case there will inevitably be a transition period perhaps lasting years. One of the reasons NI is a burden to the British taxpayer is the reality that unlike the rest of Ireland there is less inward investment. That won't improve with it out of the EU. There is absolutely no reason the six counties should be a burden to the rest of Ireland any more than any other region of Ireland.

When it happens as seems inevitable there will have to be compromises on both sides.

There is also the risk of a few diehards on the 'loyalist' side resisting. It is after their professed nightmare scenario.

Time will tell.
When Partition happened, Belfast was by far the wealthiest part of the island. Textiles, manufacturing, H&W etc, economics was no motivation in cutting it off from the Free State. That situation has totally reversed, so I don’t see how my attitude can be partitionist since it didn’t exist at the time of partition. I also don’t think the potential large loss of life down here resulting from Loyalist paramilitary action would be worth it.

The main reason NI needs over 20 billion pounds in subsidies is the enormous public service. Westminster believed that by giving people jobs, they’d be less likely to murder each other. In hindsight, they weren’t wrong.

Recent polls showed a roughly 70-30 split in favour of unity in rural Ireland, and a slight majority against in the cities. The emotional argument is one thing, but economically it would be a disaster. We can’t sack those civil servants, and 20 billion sterling is significantly greater than our entire health budget (€16 billion).

But, this may all change, and I think it already is.....

Young people are no longer religious. Without the whole Catholic vs Protestant nonsense, people from traditional Loyalist backgrounds are thinking of the issue on its merits rather than emotionally. In 20 years might the majority of “Unionists” favour Irish unity? Potentially, in which case, my own opinion would change.
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 22:23
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The cost of unification would likely be borne by the EU in the form of subsidies. Loyalists paramilitaries wouldn’t be much of a threat as they wouldn’t have a safe base to operate from, lack funding and wouldn’t have too many interested in joining up. The Irish army has improved since the 1970s and could cope with them.

A United Ireland is more likely now than its ever been.
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 22:36
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How many in NI would vote to leave the UK once they realise it means leaving the NHS?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health...lic_of_Ireland
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 22:48
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Yes I expected that reaction Úna, can I call you Úna?
That argument was used before the Brexit vote. Surely the British, English wouldn't vote on emotions but they did despite the obvious disastrous consequences.

The Irish are no different. We'll vote for unity even if it makes no sense. It's the same in the North emotion and patriotism will out.

It made no sense in 1922 but it happened. The best option was a gradual exit remaining like Australia or Canada in the dominions. But it didn't happen to the detriment of Ireland until recently.

When it happens, which it will. The key to peace is to appease the loyalists which might be uncomfortable for the bar stool Republicans. We cannot avoid our association with the British.

Our two countries are closer than far to many like to believe.
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Old 19th Jan 2020, 08:53
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Any agreement about reunification would have to specifically protect the rights of the loyalists, basically it would ensure that they wouldn't be treated the same way that they had previously treated the nationalist population in the north. Britain has plenty of experience in divesting itself of its colonies and Northern Ireland has been subject to slow but sure changes.

Preparation for Irish reunification has been quietly going on for many years now, the RUC has been transformed into the PSNI in which officers from the Republic can serve on an exchange basis and control is by an independent police authority. The UDR and the Royal Irish Rangers have been amalgamated. Voting is by a system of proportional representation for local government. The Fair Work Act gave the most progressive form of protection from discrimination in employment in all of Europe when it was first introduced. The Protestant Stormont power structure has been largely dismantled.

The Irish Republic is a far more palatable option for the unionists that it was back in the 1970s, the influence of the Catholic church has diminished markedly, the country is much wealthier and an EU member, unlike whites in the former African colonies prior to independence, they don't need to worry about a descent into chaos as Eire has a good record when it comes to democracy, stability and human rights.
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Old 19th Jan 2020, 10:07
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Agreed "The Irish are no different. We'll vote for unity even if it makes no sense".

Just like Germany ...

and of course with Boris's "No Border Border " running down the Irish Sea economic forces will be stronger , pulling Ulster closer to the Republic.

I hear lot of people in England who don't want the Scots to leave but I've never heard anyone (other than a Tory PM with a very small majority) want to hold onto Ulster - I think the emotional connection was shattered by the 40 years of the Troubles
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Old 19th Jan 2020, 10:24
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Splitting Ireland may have been necessary at the time, but that time is now long past. The DUP's influence has greatly diminished, and their outdated control of matters like abortion and single sex union is finally breaking down.

The centenary in 2022 would be a great time to reunify the island, but is probably too soon. Perhaps the date could be used as a target for a formal plan to be agreed.

Reunification would remove any border issues created by Brexit, and we may be sure that the EU would welcome it with appropriate financial support as a development area.

It has to happen.
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Old 19th Jan 2020, 20:21
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Doubt it will happen soon

The mentality is too different imho. Meet many people from both sides of the border who have never crossed it. Only yesterday we came across the red white and blue curb stones but haven't seen the green and orange ones in ages. As for getting rid of civil servants in the north one only has to look at Macron's futile attempts.
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Old 19th Jan 2020, 22:04
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Originally Posted by blind pew View Post
The mentality is too different imho. Meet many people from both sides of the border who have never crossed it. Only yesterday we came across the red white and blue curb stones but haven't seen the green and orange ones in ages. As for getting rid of civil servants in the north one only has to look at Macron's futile attempts.
There are people in the North of England who have never travelled to London and think very differently to people in the South. They seem to manage living in the same country.
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Old 20th Jan 2020, 00:15
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I hear lot of people in England who don't want the Scots to leave but I've never heard anyone (other than a Tory PM with a very small majority) want to hold onto Ulster - I think the emotional connection was shattered by the 40 years of the Troubles
There is no practical reason for Britain to want to hold onto Northern Ireland, the province costs billions of pounds per year in ongoing subsidies let alone the billions the troubles cost over thirty years of civil war. The security issues that resulted on the mainland with the IRA bombings and assassination threats weren't welcome either. The UK would be better off if it simply washed its hands of the centuries old Irish problem and left.

Morally Britain was in the wrong, it occupied a foreign country by force and subjugated it's population for 800 years. With the way the Catholics were treated in the 1960s it's hardly surprising they protested. The protests were peaceful at first but were dealt with by baton wielding RUC thugs. If the government had listened to the civil rights marchers instead and dealt with the issues of housing, employment and voting rights then the troubles could probably have been avoided, pandering to 900 000 bigots who are stuck in a time warp and feel as though they have the right to lord over the indigenous population and march through their areas celebrating a battle victory three centuries ago isn't worth it.

Now that the Nationalists are in the majority, were the Sinn Fein MPs to take their seats in the house of commons they could well hold the balance of power in the event of a hung parliament. Gerry Adams could decide who becomes Prime Minister in London.
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Old 20th Jan 2020, 01:02
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Gosh Krismiler, thank you for that thoughtful and balanced summary of the causes of "the troubles"
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Old 20th Jan 2020, 12:06
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
Gosh Krismiler, thank you for that thoughtful and balanced summary of the causes of "the troubles"
TTN

You obviously view Krismiler’s views as somewhat jaundiced. Perhaps you would like to give us your summary of the causes of the “Troubles” then?
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