A group of Northern Irish people were recently polled about their support or lack thereof for a united Ireland, which indicated that there is nearly an equal split for both sides.
The Journal reported that an online survey conducted by the BBC indicated that 45 percent of people wanted to remain in the United Kingdom, but 42.1 percent wanted to join the Republic of Ireland. Currently, 12.7 percent are unsure.
This is markedly different from a Queen’s University Belfast poll that stated 21 percent were in support of a united Ireland, which could possibly be explained by the difference between face-to-face questioning and online surveys. BBC Lucid Talk’s Bill White noted that those who indicated united Ireland support on the online survey were “shy,” representing a largely silent portion of the population.
In the BBC opinion poll published today, support for a united Ireland is higher among people in Northern Ireland under the age of 45:
- 49% support a united Ireland— Siobhán Fenton (@SiobhanFenton) June 8, 2018
- 38% support remaining in the UK
- 13% undecidedhttps://t.co/W5OU52bpL3
Concerns regarding the North's status in the European Union are at the top of the list for many in considering a potential reunification of the island. Threats of a hard border impeding travel and the transit of goods back and forth have seen much debate, hence many are concerned that a solution that would work well for both all parties involved may never come.
The north largely voted to remain in the EU, so the potential reunification of Ireland would make economic sense given that whole island would be homogeneous in the EU customs union. Because of this potential, there have been talks for a referendum to be held on Irish unity predicated on the issue of choosing to remain or leave the EU.
Other findings in the BBC poll showed that in Northern Ireland, 58.6 percent of people identify as Irish, while only 46.7 percent see themselves as British. In a close second, 57.9 percent see themselves as Northern Irish and following that, 56.7 percent see themselves as European.
In total, 28 percent of respondents felt that Brexit changed their mind in that they previously supported staying in the UK, but now they support joining the Irish Republic. Conversely, 40.6 percent stated that they had not changed their mind and still argued for remaining within the UK.
Do you think a united Ireland is on the table for the near-future because of Brexit?