Northern Ireland news

Support for border in Irish Sea increasing, poll shows

Prime minister Boris Johnson and DUP Leader Arlene Foster are opposed to a backstop
Seanin Graham

A POLL has shown that almost three out of five voters in Northern Ireland support a "border in the Irish Sea" to avoid an estimated 40,000 job losses linked to a no-deal Brexit.

The online survey by LucidTalk shows a large majority of nationalists along with a clear majority of Alliance and Green party voters favour a backstop, according to The Sunday Times.

One in six unionists also backed the measure in a bid to avert a hard Brexit.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the DUP are opposed to a backstop.

Researchers also found the north's voters are dissatisfied with the government's handling of the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, with two out of three saying it had gone "very badly" while more than four out five believe it has been done "badly". Just 13 per cent felt the talks had been done well.

The release of the findings come as leaked classified documents show that any efforts to avert a hard border in the event of a no-deal Brexit are "unsustainable".

The papers show that the British government's planning assumptions have changed since Mr Johnson came into office - and the view is now to expect a hard border.

Boris Johnson is due to meet with EU leaders later this week and is expected to insist that the UK will leave the EU on October 31, with or without a deal.

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