Northern Ireland, together with Scotland, voted to remain within the EU. The result of the referendum means that both regions are leaving the EU.
There have been calls for referenda in both regions on leaving the United Kingdom. For Scotland, and perhaps for Northern Ireland, this would mean re-applying to the EU as independent statelets. This would involve a process not unlike that which lead to the Eastern European countries joining the EU: in other words, it could take years, perhaps decades.
The referendum call in Northern Ireland is more likely to consider remaining in the UK vs. unification with the Republic of Ireland, notwithstanding the third option of regional independence outlined above.
The Modest Proposal: That Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland form a federal union, after the model of the 1989-90 German Reunification.
- This would afford Scotland and Northern Ireland near-immediate membership of the EU, piggybacked on The Republic’s membership.
- Confederation would permit a measured timetable of working towards greater social, legal and economic unity, without undue delay. Such a system need not mean or require the imposition of the laws and institutions of one region upon another. For example, both Scotland and Northern Ireland had differing legal systems within the UK: there is no reason to assume that confederation would do away with these structures.
- Seriously, why did we never do this before? We’ve more in common with each other than any of us ever had with the English. (Oh wait, we did – it was called the Kingdom of Dal Riada…)
- We could call it the Dal Riada Union, and its citizens could be Dal Riadars, because we’re actually that cool.
- Wales voted to leave, so they can take a running lep at themselves.