The time for Irish unity is now -- economically, politically it makes perfect sense
A small island divided into two economies makes no sense in the modern world
Imagine alien economists landing from another planet to assess the state of the Irish economy. (Don’t laugh, for many Irish that is what the last few years have felt like, as troika economists – highly respected and capable but with very different frames of reference to most Irish people – have visited our shores). What would those alien economists say?
The first thing they’d have difficulty understanding is why an island nation of 6.5 million people on the edge of Europe has been split into two separate tax, currency and legal systems.
The second thing they’d have difficulty understanding is why one part of the island is – devolution aside – effectively governed from a city in the south of a neighbouring island whose voters don’t even share the same political party.
The third thing they’d have difficulty understanding is why after conflicts all over the world have been settled, Ireland remains the only developed country outside Korea to be divided.
Instead of two separate economies, one with 4.6 million (the Republic) and the other with 1.9 million (Northern Ireland) they would recommend that this island merge into a single island entity of 6.5 million – and growing – persons.
Economies of Scale is one obvious reason; bigger markets mean more effective indigenous industries and greater pull in Foreign Investment. Transactions costs and efficiencies are another: Operating two systems on one small island makes no sense at all. Leveraging the souths’ access to the Euro zone with the North’s access to Britain is a further reason why this merger would be recommended. Finally the north has an economy too dominated by the public sector, but its public sector is cost effective and well run.
Although smaller relative to the economy, the south’s public sector is cost ineffective but its industrial and business sector is vibrant. In short, the north and south of Ireland complement each other wonderfully.
As for religion, let each tradition fly its own flag. In a pluralist world, a United Ireland won’t be imposing any religious views on its citizens. Ironically after pointing the finger at the south for being too catholic, the British constitution prevailing in the North is now a far greater candidate for finger pointing in this regard.
Northern Ireland is a legal jurisdiction whose existence is now, thanks to the Good Friday Agreement respected by the governments in Dublin and Westminster. But Northern Irish national identity is an artificial construct that in the long run is doomed.
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Mass Immigrationists like barry exemplify the double speak and dishonesty that underlies the capitalists' project to replace the young men and women oTop ten words the Irish use that confuse Americans
To be fair, most American words and slang came FROM Ireland to begin with. I plan to visit Ireland and learn as much as possible. Can't wait.New Northern Ireland flag is not an option, loyalists tell Richard Haass
I think we have enough flags in Ireland as it is.Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
@Chuck: My point is that immigrants who are willing to work for low wages are not to be demonised but rather be pitied and/or admired. It's the greedy