The EU and Northern Ireland

Sir, – Diarmaid Ferriter highlights a neglected point about the endless Brexit discussions ("Would Brexit fallout push EU to advocate for Irish unity?" Opinion & Analysis, May 13th). Northern Ireland has the option of automatic re-entry to the EU. Full return to the single market, among many other things. A novel dimension to a familiar debate. We still do not hear enough about it.

The idea that EU institutions should prepare for a likely constitutional transition in a member state seems wise. What any responsible person would do.

While acknowledging that it is for the people of the island of Ireland to decide, European states can still legitimately hold a view on a preferred outcome. And much better to face into this now and address the potential implications well in advance.

The consequences of reunification will not simply be confined to this island or even these islands. International interest is to be expected, welcomed and encouraged. That this also reconfigures dialogue about constitutional futures in pluralist directions is yet to be fully appreciated. – Yours, etc,


School of Law,

Queen’s University Belfast.