Belfast Telegraph

Patrick Kielty warns hard Brexit could lead to a united Ireland

Mr Kielty's father was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries

Patrick Kielty
Patrick Kielty
Patrick Kielty believes a hard Brexit could result in a united Ireland (Ian West/PA)

Comedian and TV personality Patrick Kielty has claimed that a hard Brexit could lead to a united Ireland.

Writing in the Guardian, the Co Down funny man said Brexit negotiations are being hindered by the red lines drawn by Prime Minister Theresa May, the DUP and the European Research Group, while Jeremy Corbyn's position is unclear.

"If they all hold firm, we’re heading for a hard Brexit. And a united Ireland," he said.

"We were always going to end up here because Brexit has never been about Nissan X-Trails or the shape of your bananas. It’s only ever been about sovereignty."

Mr Kielty, whose father was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1988, said this causes difficulty in Northern Ireland as many here either identify as British or Irish.

"Yet as Brexiteers preach about their precious union, Irish nationalists in the same country are meant to park the union they want and just work out how the chicken crosses the border," he said.

The Dundrum-born comedian stated that the majority in Northern Ireland voted remain because the alternative would be either a land border or a border down the Irish Sea and dismissed the idea of any "alternative arrangements" to solve the problem.

"If an alternative arrangement that worked actually existed (or was likely to exist in the next couple of years) Brexiteers would have already accepted the backstop, knowing they could easily replace it with their idea during the transition," he said.

Mr Kielty said that there are three options of how the Brexit negotiations could unfold.

"On the one side is May's deal (complete with backstop). On the other is the ERG (European Research Group) and a hard Brexit," he said.

"If the DUP buckles on the backstop, party members will walk away with their UK sovereignty between their legs. For those of us who have their early albums, this isn't going to happen."

"Which leaves just one option. The DUP holds firm and jumps off the cliff with the ERG, knowing a hard Brexit is the only scenario that guarantees a hard border in Ireland, a border poll in Northern Ireland and the perfect economic storm where it could lose that vote.

"By trying to be the most British person in the room, the DUP could actually end up the most Irish."

He added that another referendum on EU membership is the only way to save peace and a continued shared future in Northern Ireland.

He continued: "It's now time to act, or Northern Ireland might decide the team is no longer worth playing for."

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