According to the latest news reports the EU has stated that if Northern Ireland were to unite with the Republic of Ireland then the North would automatically be a part of the EU. With the fall of the Berlin Wall after the end of the Cold War Germany was united. East Germany was allowed to enter the EU as of right. What the EU is saying in its negotiations with Britain is that Ireland will be treated like Germany if Irish unity was to be achieved. This statement doesn’t mean that we will have Irish unity in the morning. But it does mean that the EU could look favorably on the possibility of Irish unity as well as the possibility of Scottish independence. The EU doesn’t want to be too soft on the UK. The EU doesn’t want to encourage other countries to leave the EU. Because of the divergence of opinion in the UK over Brexit the UK has shown itself to be a deeply divided society. Brexit has revealed that the UK as a union isn’t very stable.
Northern Ireland itself is deeply divided. The divisions in the North are not only between Unionists and Nationalists but there are divisions between pro and anti EU opinion in the North itself. The majority of the voters in the North voted to stay in the EU. The biggest party in the North the DUP supports Brexit. The DUP is not only the biggest Unionist party but it is still the biggest party in the North.
The political parties in the Republic are officially in favor of a united Ireland. Would they support a united Ireland in reality? Would the people in the Republic support a united Ireland in reality? Would the people in the Republic support a united Ireland if it meant an increase in taxes? I ask these questions because I wonder if a united Ireland were to happen tomorrow would the head or the heart rule?
The question of a united Ireland can only be answered by the people of the North and the South themselves. The role of the media should be to inform the people in an objective fashion. The constitutional position of Northern Ireland can be an emotional one. Any discussion of it needs to be done in a calm rational and a sober fashion. In the past the border question has created violence. Now we will deal with the border and our relationship with the EU calmly if we want to take into account the peace process in the North.
Negotiations between the UK and the EU has only begun. We must await the results of the British general election before we see how these negotiations will develop. Calls for Irish unity may be an academic exercise. If they become part of the political debate in the Republic of Ireland then it could mean that a shake up of domestic and European politics would happen.