Time for unity vote as Ireland is “milestone around UK’s neck”

Posted By: October 12, 2019

John Manley. Irish News. Belfast. Saturday, October 12, 2019

THE head of an influential London-based right-wing think tank believes it’s time for a vote on Irish unity.

Civitas director David Green, who describes Northern Ireland as a “millstone round the neck of the rest of the UK,” points to a recent opinion poll conducted by Lord Ashcroft that found a small majority in favor of border poll.

Reflecting what is regarded as the English nationalist perspective most associated with European Research Group, Mr Green points to Treasury figures that demonstrate “it costs the UK more to support Northern Ireland than it does to be in the EU”.

“In other words we pay a net £7.8 billion to gain access to a market of about 450 million people [after deducting our own population] and we pay £8.8 bn a year to 1.8 million people in Northern Ireland,” he writes
in a Daily Telegraph column.

He claims the British government “effectively bribe(s)” the north’s population to remain in the UK through lavish public spending.

“Of the four countries that make up the UK, Northern Ireland received the largest amount per head at £11,042. The people of England received £8,898 per head,” he notes.

“As measured by GDP per head, Ireland is very prosperous,” he writes. …

“The latest statistics show GDP per head in Ireland of $72,600. The Northern Ireland equivalent is $29,300 and for the UK it is $42,400.”

The Civitas head says a customs border in the Irish Sea “remains the best solution” for resolving the Brexit impasse.

“But if the DUP continues to block this obvious remedy, then a referendum on Irish unity will be the best way forward for everyone in Northern Ireland, the republic and the rest of the UK,” he writes.