Managing constitutional change
Sir, – The conversation about the future of this island is gaining further momentum. Those with the political maturity to embrace proper planning and preparation are to be commended. The caricatured suggestion that there is a widespread desire for a “border poll” immediately is misleading and is a predictable distraction from what is in fact being said by thoughtful advocates for constitutional change. In the face of Brexit, it is the responsible and dignified language of sensible management that is being used to debate Irish reunification. There is widespread acceptance that if this is the eventual outcome it will be a carefully plotted transition over time that is framed by the Belfast Agreement. But there is also a weariness with those who create anxiety through their unwillingness to put concrete measures in place now. An all-island citizens’ assembly combined with focused government-led contingency planning makes sense and must be a priority for the next government.
Those who pretend that nothing is happening or who would leave our constitutional destiny exclusively in the hands of the British government are the reckless and divisive figures in this island-wide conversation. – Yours, etc,
Prof COLIN HARVEY,
School of Law,
Queen’s University Belfast.