Severe consequences of Brexit could lead to “nationalists” prevailing over “unionists”
A new poll in Northern Ireland shows that two-thirds of voters believe there should be a referendum on the province’s place in the UK. According to the poll, 49% would vote to stay in the kingdom, 41% for a united Ireland and 9% are unaware.
A survey by the Observer newspaper shows that a large majority wants such a vote, but only 37% of respondents want it to happen within the next 5 years until 2026. More than a quarter believe that such a vote is not necessary, BNR reported.
At present, those seeking reunification in the United Kingdom have an 8% lead over those seeking reunification with the Republic of Ireland.
The British government is increasingly concerned that the effects of Brexit, and in particular the Northern Ireland Protocol, which raises barriers between the province and the rest of the United Kingdom, could lead to greater support for reunification with Ireland.
As is well known, there are many ethno-political conflicts in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants, also called “nationalists” and “unionists”, attached to the British crown. Catholics want Northern Ireland to unite with the Republic of Ireland, and Protestants want to remain part of the United Kingdom. While many experts believe that political temperatures in Northern Ireland have eased, the question of the province’s location has recently been raised again by prominent figures such as Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and former Sinn Féin leader Jerry Adams.
Official London has often been accused of completely ignoring events in Northern Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement gives the Minister for Northern Ireland the opportunity to convene a referendum at any time, but this can only be done if there is clear evidence that there is a majority in favor of reunification with the Republic of Ireland.
On the other front for independence, the Scottish, it became known that the Greens would agree to support a government of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and even reached an agreement to share power. The agreement is not a coalition, but it could pave the way for a new referendum on the secession of Scotland from the United Kingdom, the Associated Press reported on August 21.
The two parties have been in talks since May, as the SNP lacked a single parliamentary seat to have a majority in the regional parliament. The agreement guarantees a majority for Scotland’s independence in Edinburgh’s parliament for the next five years.
The SNP has been in power since 2007, and its leader, Nicholas Sturgeon, has been Scotland’s prime minister since late 2014, after a failed independence referendum earlier that year.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leader of the Conservative Party, has the final say on whether or not to allow a new referendum in Scotland to secede. There are signs that he will oppose a new vote by the Scots, which will increase tensions between him