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Sunday 29 May 2016

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Border poll should be on all-island basis

Published 23/01/2013

I welcome the suggestion that the DUP may consider the call by Sinn Fein for a border poll. But I have one condition.

As well as the referendum being in Northern Ireland, there should also be a referendum on the same day in the Republic of Ireland.

There the question should be: "Would you accept a united island of Ireland within the United Kingdom?"

With 1,000 young people emigrating from the Republic each week, more than 15% unemployment and a bailout by the EU and the UK to rescue its economy, the result of such a referendum is not clear-cut.

Of course, nationalism is often illogical and the heart overrules the head. In 1918, 200,000 people in Donegal voted overwhelmingly to leave the UK and immediately moved to live in the UK, in places like Glasgow and Londonderry. That is why the population of Donegal today is almost only half of what it was in 1918.


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