Northern Ireland news

Britons more upset to lose Falklands than Northern Ireland, says poll

A new YouGov poll has examined attitudes in GB to parts of the UK leaving the union, along with British Overseas Territories.
Paul Ainsworth

More people in Great Britain would be upset at the loss of the Falkland Islands from British control than Northern Ireland leaving the UK, a new poll has found.

The YouGov poll examined attitudes in Britain to losing constituent countries within the UK and British Overseas Territories.

It found that Britons have the least interest in Northern Ireland out of all UK countries, the Falklands and Gibraltar.

Asked if they would be "upset" at the north leaving the UK, 33 per cent said they would be, compared to 43 per cent replying "it wouldn't bother me either way", and 15 per cent saying they would be "pleased" at its departure, while nine percent chose the "don't know" option.

When asked about the disputed Falklands, more than 8,000 miles away and known to Argentina as the Islas Malvinas, 35 per cent said they would be upset at their loss, with just nine pe rcent pleased.

Thirty-three per cent would be upset at the loss of Gibraltar, the poll found, with nine per cent pleased at that possible outcome.

Meanwhile, the loss of Scotland from the UK would be upsetting for 43 per cent, while an independent Wales would cause upset for 46 per cent.

In a separate question, YouGov asked what should happen with Northern Ireland, and in a three-way split between leave, remain and it being up to NI people, 18 per cent said the north should join a united Ireland, 32 percent said it should remain in the UK, and 44 pe rcent said it should be a matter for the people of Northern Ireland.

In a previous YouGov poll in April, the same question saw 13 percent of British respondents saying they were in favor of the north leaving the UK, while 22 per cent wanted it to remain, and 53 per cent saying it was a decision only for the Northern Irish.

Speaking of the poll results in a tweet, former Alliance leader Lord John Alderdice said they "confirm my comments about a core problem for unionism" adding that people in Great Britain "do not think of Northern Ireland in the same way as Scotland and Wales".

The Liberal Democrat peer told BBC Radio Ulster earlier this week that there was "no emotional attachment" to Northern Ireland in England, adding that the north was on an "inevitable trajectory" towards joint authority.

YouGov said its poll results "consistently show a high level of apathy for what happens to Northern Ireland" in Britain.


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