GLENTIES, Eire (Reuters) – The query of the unification of Eire and British-ruled Northern Eire will inevitably come up if Britain leaves the European Union with no divorce deal on Oct. 31, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar mentioned.
FILE PHOTO: Eire’s Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar arrives to participate in a European Union leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 2, 2019. Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/Pool through REUTERS
He additionally warned so-called laborious Brexit may undermine Scotland’s place in the UK.
His feedback on Friday prompted a pointy rebuke from Northern Eire’s largest pro-British get together, the Democratic Unionist Get together, whose member of parliament Ian Paisley mentioned the Irish authorities’s language was “unhelpful and unnecessarily aggressive.”
Requested at a politics discussion board if the Irish authorities supposed to start to publicly plan for a united Eire, Varadkar mentioned it didn’t at current as it will be seen as provocative by pro-British unionists in Northern Eire.
“However within the occasion of a tough Brexit, these questions do come up,” he mentioned.
“If Britain takes Northern Eire out of the European Union towards the needs of nearly all of folks in Northern Eire – takes away their European citizenship and undermines the Good Friday Settlement – in doing so, these questions will come up, whether or not we prefer it or not,” Varadkar mentioned on the MacGill Summer time Faculty convention within the northwest of Eire.
“We’re going to must be prepared for that.”
Within the 2016 referendum, 56 p.c in Northern Eire voted to stay within the EU.
Over three,600 folks died in three a long time of violence between Irish nationalists searching for a united Eire and the British safety forces and pro-British “unionists”.
The 1998 Good Friday Settlement, which ended the violence, foresees the holding of referendums on each side of the border on uniting the island if London and Dublin see public assist for that. The British authorities says it doesn’t consider there’s enough assist now.
Varadkar additionally steered voters in Scotland, the place 62 p.c voted to stay within the EU within the 2016 referendum, would possibly make a brand new push for independence.
“Sarcastically one of many issues that would actually undermine the union – the UK union – is a tough Brexit, each for Northern Eire and for Scotland. However that could be a downside that they will must face,” Varadkar mentioned.
Reporting by Conor Humphries; Enhancing by Kevin Liffey and Janet Lawrence