New poll shows historic surge in support for Northern Ireland leaving the UK

Northern Ireland sign
Timothy J. Woods

An opinion poll for the BBC has shown surging support in Northern Ireland for a united Ireland.

Brexit impact

Support to join the Republic of Ireland has risen to 42.1%, according to the poll. 45% of those polled in the province said they wanted to remain in the UK. And 12.7% said they didn’t know.

28% of respondents said Brexit is the reason why they are now more likely to support a united Ireland. A previous poll that Queen’s University Belfast conducted put support for a united Ireland at a much lower 21%. But polling company Lucid Talk’s Bill White believes that the online method of polling leads to more “shy” voters taking part. Some might not feel comfortable declaring support for a united Ireland during in-person interviews.

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“A shambles”

The government’s handling of Brexit has been called “incompetent” and a “shambles“. Its own foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, has slammed the government’s approach. And the Irish border problem has consistently held up Brexit negotiations. Added to this uncertainty, the economic outlook for the UK is bleak, down to 0.1% growth in the first quarter of 2018.

The pound has plummeted by 12% in value against the euro since Brexit, and observers predict that it will lead to a “lost decade” and a loss of half a million jobs. On the other hand, the Irish Republic economy is gathering steam, growing three times faster than any other European country.

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Featured image via Nick YoungsonAlpha Stock Images

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