We are closer to a united Ireland now than we have ever been and this has proved a success with the DOE, DHSS, tourist’s boards and also the police among others benefiting highly from this increased co-operation.
A clear benefit of re-uniting Ireland would be that the need for planned interaction would subside and the duplications of structures and services would be irradiated this would be more beneficial economically and would save immense time and resources.
British influence in Ireland has been overwhelmingly negative. The brutal colonial force that Britain asserted over hundreds of years on the people of Ireland has had a lasting impact and these policies have caused devastating conflict on its shores. We now have the opportunity to break free from this legacy and create a country where each individual stands on an equal footing sure that they and their input are safeguarded within society. Every Irish person can then experience inclusion and diversity can be a valued asset and safeguard of democracy rather than a dividing force.
However it may be useful to note that Britain has no interest in holding Ireland or any part of it, the sole reason that Britain ever concerned itself with Ireland is because they feared that the powerful Catholic nations of Europe would use Ireland as a base for attacking Britain and so asserted its rule on the Irish people to ensure its security within Europe. With this threat irradicated Britain and especially British people do not feel connected to people in the north and as I have found do not want to be either. The only time Britain claims the north as her own is when talking politics or on the front cover of a passport. Therefore it appears that the British themselves were pushed by Unionists into remaining in Ireland even though it was not preferential to do so but the fact that they owed a sense of loyalty to the people they had placed there ensured the enactment of Partition.
The ease with which they handed over the 26 counties enforces this view- if Britain, one of the most powerful countries in the world, had wanted Ireland it would not have handed it back so easily. The Falklands war is a prime example.
In addition to this the potential for foreign investment in the north is being strangled by the retainment of taxing powers in Westminster. In the north a 24% rate of corporation tax is forced upon it, a clear barrier to foreign investment however if Irish people could assert their own will on their taxes I have no doubt that it would drop to the 12.5% rate that the South has adopted, due to its success and popularity with Irish people, which attracts foreign investors and is beneficial to the economy. A united education system free from the shackles of the expense of duplicating structures and services would provide the educated workforce required to fulfill our highly skilled industry.
Economics is one common argument against uniting Ireland. The notion that we are dependent on Britain needs challenged as The British Treasury either do not give figures or give estimates. There is no accurate data and this argument is therefore based on guesswork and not concrete facts.
The British Treasury do not give exact figures in terms of money generated here, taxes, etc. For example in terms of corporation tax many companies like Tesco, asda etc based in the north pay their tax through their HQ in Britain so this would not show up on the north’s tax revenues. Direct Rule has clearly stymied our economy through slow decision making processes on air passenger duty and corporation tax.
All Ireland efficiency savings should also be factored in when talking economics. Already the dup health minister is working closely with his Dublin counterpart in a no of areas and the new cancer unit in Derry will serve people on both sides of border. It does not make sense to duplicate services.
We are closer to a united Ireland now than we have ever been and this has proved a success with such ministers among others benefiting highly from this increased co-operation. A clear benefit of re-uniting Ireland would be that the need for planned interaction would subside and the duplications of structures and services would be irradiated this would be more beneficial economically and would save immense time and resources.
It has been noted that many Protestant Unionists fear revenge may be sought from Catholic nationalists if they partake in such a venture. To counter that I quote Bobby Sands a forward thinking man who has views that were well ahead of his time, he said that ‘Our revenge will be the laughter of our children’ this statement sets out clearly the aims of nationalist/republicans- a prosperous society based on equality and rights where children no longer live in fear.
The United States has no doubt got a role to play in building this bright future that I describe. The most important role that the United States can play in this debate is as a facilitator of discussion. Nothing will ever be achieved by maintaining the status quo and refraining from discussion. The topic must be promoted and discussed both by politicians north, south and worldwide but also in communities in people’s homes and in educational facilities.