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Malachi O'Doherty

Johnson dare not ditch NI if he wants to keep Scotland

Malachi O'Doherty


But DUP would be wise not to test Prime Minister's patience

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

PA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

So far as we know, only two former British prime ministers have favoured a united Ireland. These were Alec Douglas-Home (pronounced Hume) and Harold Wilson. The paucity of such champions of severing the Union at the highest level of political life suggests that this is almost an eccentric idea that great political minds baulk at.

Logical as it might seem to some that Britain should just be rid of the burden and embarrassment of governing Northern Ireland, whenever the idea occurs to a senior politician there are always plenty of others around to kill it off.

In 1998, during the talks towards the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Fein tried to insist that Britain should "act as a persuader" for Irish unity and Tony Blair refused. British prime ministers might not have cherished the Union, but few have considered it even possible to dispense with it.


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