Fintan O’Toole: Nationalists must have an honest conversation with themselves on a United Ireland

The biggest mistake is to confuse what Irish people say they want with how they regard what happens in the real world

Polls have consistently shown that support for a United Ireland drops very sharply if the question comes with a real world qualification, like paying higher taxes to sustain it. Photograph: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty

Polls have consistently shown that support for a United Ireland drops very sharply if the question comes with a real world qualification, like paying higher taxes to sustain it. Photograph: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty

Talking about a United Ireland is not just legitimate. With all the long-term uncertainties created by Brexit, it may be unavoidable.

But while we’re talking about it, we have to bear in mind a great complication: the fabulous Irish capacity for doublethink. The biggest mistake is to confuse what Irish people say they want with how they regard what happens in the real world.

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