Planning for unity

Sir, – We came to the centenary of the Easter 1916 Rising from different traditions. Together, we were involved in staging an inclusive, bilateral commemorative event in Dublin in 2016.

In the event of a border poll on Irish unity, a comprehensive, evidence-based, economic and socio-cultural assessment of the implications of unity should be undertaken well in advance by a competent independent body of experts, as agreed by the Irish and British governments, the EU and the US administration.

In this context, it will be critical not to repeat the misinformation campaigns of the Brexit referendum.

Any plan for Irish unity must also include significant transitional funding from the British government, the EU, and also from the US – as guarantors of what will be an international agreement.

Importantly, such an agreement should include special recognition of British identify in the northern six counties, continued eligibility for dual citizenship for people born in these counties, and a consultative role for the British government in a reconstituted north-south ministerial council.

In the meanwhile, the focus must be on getting Stormont up and running as a matter of urgency and finding creative solutions to problems related to implementing the Northern Ireland protocol.

Although it is unlikely that a border poll will happen anytime soon, it is, nonetheless important, given our shared history, to think ahead of the different ways in which we might continue to live peacefully together on this island in the future. – Yours, etc,




Co Down;


Dublin 6.