Belfast Telegraph

Poll: Varadkar says more than 50% plus one needed in united Ireland poll - what do you think?

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said there needs to be a bigger majority than 50% plus one in a poll to bring about a united Ireland.

In an interview with BBC Spotlight, Mr Varadkar put the issue of a united Ireland on the backburner, saying he would prefer it happened through consensus.

“I wouldn’t like us to get to the point whereby we are changing the constitutional position here in Northern Ireland on a 50% plus one basis," he said.

“One of the best things about the Good Friday Agreement is that it did get very strong cross border support – that’s why there was a 70% vote for it. “I don’t think that there would be a 70% vote for a united Ireland in the morning, for example, or anything remotely to that.”

The Good Friday Agreement states a majority should be in favour of a constitutional change.

Sinn Fein rejected the idea saying the Taoiseach should defend the Good Friday Agreement and the right to a majority vote.

MLA Conor Murphy said: "The Good Friday Agreement is absolutely clear in enshrining the right of the Irish people to self-determination through referenda, north and south.

“If a simple majority vote in favour of reunification, both governments are then obliged to legislate for it. The Good Friday Agreement is the legal and internationally-biding position.

“There is an onus on the Irish government to plan for unity. To become a persuader for unity. To build the maximum agreement and to secure and win a referendum on unity.

“As a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, the Taoiseach should be seeking to defend the agreement in all its parts, not seeking to undermine it.”

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