Boris Johnson warned Brexit ‘pushing Irish reunification up agenda’

Brexit has 'forced issue' of Irish unification says expert

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The former Irish Ambassador to the UK Bobby McDonagh has claimed Brexit has “speeded up the process” of debating Irish unity. Mr Donagh has warned that while Dublin “don’t want to set timeframes’ on when a future border poll may be held, the ongoing tensions of the Northern Ireland Protocol have seen passions on both sides escalate. The Irish diplomat told LBC “Brexit has speeded up the process”.

Mr McDonagh told LBC: “I do think Brexit has speeded up the process.

“You mentioned in the last year there has been a growth in this debate.

“So some people in Northern Ireland voted for Brexit and they had an absolute democratic right.

“But the majority, including a significant number of Unionists voted against Brexit.

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“They now find themselves significantly cut off from the European identity against their wishes.

“So in my view, I would have liked to see several more decades of implementing the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland before trying to resolve which of the aspirations will ultimately win through.

“Time was needed and I still tend in that direction.

“But of course Brexit has forced the issue somewhat up the agenda.” 

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Earlier this week a worrying report by the US News Network NSNBC has found loyalists threatening that they are ready for a return to war over the Protocol.

Reporting from Belfast NBC News’ Matt Bradley said: “Northern Ireland can seem like a zero-sum game.

“What is good for one side is seen as catastrophic for the other.”

Speaking to Loyalists at a bonfire in Larne he added: “They say they don’t want war but they are ready for it.”

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The bonfire organiser told the NBC reporter: “Well I’m hoping that doesn’t return.

“But if it does return, well then.

“Well, then we are ready to pick up the gun.”

Earlier this month Boris Johnson was warned that protests in Northern Ireland over a customs border in the Irish Sea could turn violent.

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