Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated on Friday that a united Ireland would be dependent on compliance with the Good Friday Agreement, which requires the consent of the majority of people in Northern Ireland.
“And also, I think, if we ever get to that point, we need to make sure that unionists in Northern Ireland and British people in Northern Ireland feel that a united Ireland is a warm place for them,” he said. “We don’t want to have a repeat of what happened 100 years ago when a minority were left behind.”
The premiere also referred to Brexit as a done-deal, but only step one of the divorce process.
“There is the sense that we will get a deal. They will ratify it and they will leave the European Union, but then the next thing starts, which is negotiating a new relationship,” Mr. Varadkar stated.
Over the past week, UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, floated an EU-approved Brexit bill accompanied by a fast-track timetable through parliament. MPs rejected the timetable, saying they could not examine the bill in time for it to take effect by the 31 October deadline.
Under his current bill, Northern Ireland would end up following EU customs rules, which creates the need for a trade barrier down the Irish Sea to monitor incoming and outgoing goods.
Unionist MPs branded the government’s approach to Northern Ireland in the Brexit talks as “despicable” and a “betrayal”, with markings of an economic united Ireland.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) furthered that Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal may open a path for Northern Ireland to join into a united Ireland.
This is while a Sinn Fein official said that the government’s struggle with Brexit may lead to a referendum on a united Ireland within five years – opening the way for the disintegration of the UK itself.
The central issue to the Brexit debate is Northern Ireland and possible disintegration of the UK. But the public has largely focused on the debate in Westminster as politicians play the blame game over the future of the UK.