Brexit and cross-community support
Sir, – Denis Staunton quotes Arlene Foster as saying, after meeting with the British prime minister, that “history teaches us that any deal relating to Northern Ireland which cannot command cross-community support is doomed to failure” (“DUP says Johnson confirmed rejection of Northern Ireland-only backstop”, News, September 11th) .
The fact is that, in relation to Brexit, cross-community support already exists in Northern Ireland.
A paper by Prof John Garry of Queen’s University has shown that in June 2016, 40 per cent of Protestants and 30 per cent of self-described unionists voted Remain, thus contributing significantly to the 56 per cent referendum vote in favour of continued membership of the EU.
Recent surveys, such as that carried out by Cognisence in 2018, have indicated that, in another referendum, the Remain vote in Northern Ireland could rise to almost 70 per cent.
Unfortunately, in the past three years, the DUP has chosen to ignore this very positive, democratic and all-embracing decision of the Northern Ireland electorate and to miss an opportunity to bring the two communities closer together at a time of crisis. – Yours, etc,