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Tory members would sacrifice Northern Ireland to deliver Brexit

Tory members indicated they would be prepared to call off Brexit rather than see Jeremy Corbyn enter Number 10. Picture by Ben Birchall/PA Wire

A MAJORITY of Conservative members would be prepared to sacrifice Northern Ireland rather than see Brexit scuppered, according to a new poll.

Some 61 per cent of Tories would rather Brexit take place even if it caused "significant damage" to the economy, while 54 per cent would be willing to see their party "destroyed", as long as it meant a clean break with the EU.

The YouGov poll also found that 59 per cent would prioritise leaving the EU even if it meant Northern Ireland breaking away from the rest of the UK.

The survey of party members – who will decide the next prime minister – suggests that almost half (46 per cent) would be happy to see the Brexit Party's Nigel Farage as their new leader.

But despite the strong support for Brexit, even if it had major repercussions, Tory members indicated they would be prepared to call it off rather than see Jeremy Corbyn enter Number 10.

The survey found that 63 per cent of members would be prepared to see Brexit take place even if it meant Scotland leaving the UK.

But only 39 per cent of the members who responded to the question said they would want Brexit to take place if it meant Labour leader Mr Corbyn becoming the next prime minister, with 51 per cent saying they would rather the UK did not leave the EU in order to avoid that happening.

The survey also found more than a quarter of Tory members would be happy to see Scotland leave the UK, as would 20 per cent be if Northern Ireland did so, regardless of the Brexit issue.

YouGov's Matthew Smith said: "Conservative members are not just ideologically committed to Brexit, they also genuinely believe that the failure to deliver on the result of the 2016 referendum will bring about the destruction of the party's electoral chances."

Sinn Féin's John O'Dowd claimed the poll confirmed that an increasing number of people were supportive of a united Ireland.

“Theresa May herself said last year that she would expect an Irish unity poll to be passed, and with such overwhelming support for reunification within the self-declared Conservative and Unionist Party, it is obviously time to begin preparing for an Irish unity referendum.”

:: YouGov surveyed 892 Conservative Party members on June 11-14.

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