Northern Ireland news

Northern Ireland heading for UK exit door, says former British Chancellor George Osborne

Former chancellor George Osborne said by remaining in the EU single market, the north is "now slowly becoming part of a united Ireland". Picture by Matt Cardy/PA Wire

FORMER British chancellor George Osborne says Northern Ireland is "already heading for the exit door" of the UK following Brexit.

Now editor of the Evening Standard, he criticised "short-sighted" unionist politicians in his latest column, warning that most people in the rest of the UK and beyond "will not care" about their departure.

Mr Osborne, who campaigned alongside then Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron for the country to remain part of the EU, said "Brexit has made the future of the UK the central political issue of the coming decade".

"Northern Ireland is already heading for the exit door. By remaining in the EU single market, it is for all economic intents and purposes now slowly becoming part of a united Ireland.

"Its prosperity now depends on its relationship with Dublin (and Brussels), not London. The politics will follow.

"Northern Irish unionists always feared the mainland was not sufficiently committed to their cause.

"Now their short-sighted support for Brexit (and unbelievably stupid decision to torpedo Theresa May's deal that avoided separate Irish arrangements) has made those fears a reality. It pains me to report that most here and abroad will not care."

Read More: All eyes on Arlene Foster as more DUP MPs call for unionism to prepare for border poll

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