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A genuine UK needs ruling from Westminster

ALEX Kane writes (DebateNI, September 10): "[unionists] need to face the fact that the Union and the United Kingdom they champion is changing and will continue to change. In other words, they will have to work out what they mean when they talk about the Union and unionism."

To put Alex Kane's position simply: unionists will have to face the truth about the kingdom and the truth is, it is no longer united, but is now quasi-federal.

An attempt was made to form a United Kingdom in 1801 using coercion. That Union was unsatisfactory, as it was opposed by various movements, ranging from O'Connell's federalist Repeal Movement to Arthur Griffiths' federalist early Sinn Fein with a dual monarchy.

The kingdom is united when all its regions are ruled directly from Westminster (as it was from 1801 up to the Government of Ireland Act 1922).

With that Act, the kingdom ceased to be united and became quasi-federal with a home rule, of sorts, being granted to the Irish jurisdictions. The quasi-federal nature of the kingdom was further heightened when devolved governments were granted to Scotland and Wales in the 1990s. The full truth is that, whether the Yes or No camps in Scotland win the day, the kingdom is now heading for full federation.

For those who genuinely want a United Kingdom, they should shut down Stormont and be ruled directly from Westminster.

MICHAEL GILLESPIE

Londonderry

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