Northern Ireland news

Support for unity highlights need for Dublin to plan – Ireland's Future

Ireland's Future CEO Gerry Carlile

POLLING on support for a united Ireland underlines the need for a "clear plan" ahead of a referendum, civic nationalist group Ireland's Future has said.

A Institute of Irish Studies-University of Liverpool/The Irish News poll published yesterday shows 30 per cent of people would vote for a united Ireland if a border poll was held tomorrow.

The survey also indicates that support for Irish unity increases in the long-term, with 33.4 per cent saying they would vote for a united Ireland in 15-20 years' time.

Ireland's Future CEO Gerry Carlile said momentum for Irish unity had gathered pace in recent years as a result of a range of factors, including Brexit, social reforms across the island, and the changing demographics, north and south.

"What is apparent is that a clear plan for a united Ireland must be prepared and presented to the public, north and south, in advance of the referendum," he said.

"In that context, we are confident that a referendum would deliver a unity vote in the not too distant future."

Mr Carlile said there was now an onus ion the Irish government to "take ownership of the process, starting with the establishment of a citizens' assembly and the publication of a white paper on Irish unity".

"Stephen Farry said recently that the Alliance Party wants to rejoin the EU at the earliest possible opportunity – the earliest possible opportunity will come in the form of a unity referendum," he said.

The Ireland's Future CEO said it was significant that some 44 per cent of those committing to a constitutional preference in the poll supported unification "in a referendum held in the not too distant future".

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