David McWilliams: Swiss model of local power is the key to successful united Ireland

British people in northeast could run own affairs in hyper-devolved Irish federation

Swiss citizens casting their ballots in a referendum: direct democracy ensures that everyone participates and reduces enormously the potential for the accusation that the government is not relevant or remote. Photograph: Getty Images

Swiss citizens casting their ballots in a referendum: direct democracy ensures that everyone participates and reduces enormously the potential for the accusation that the government is not relevant or remote. Photograph: Getty Images

An unexpected consequence of Brexit has been the dramatic increase in trade between the Republic and the North. In the past six months, trade has increased by €800 million, as supply chains adapt to the new realities.

Unlike politics, commerce does not see flags, slogans or borders. The merchant has always favoured cosmopolitanism over nationalism, money over votes, flexibility over regulations and freedom of expression over dogma.

The Irish Times
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