Three unidentified British government ministers have deemed an Irish unification poll as “realistic” when speaking to the BBC this week.
The statements come in light of tense times as the United Kingdom and British Prime Minister, Theresa May, flounders and fails to find an agreed-upon Brexit deal with the EU ahead of the leave date, which falls on 29 March 2019.
This week the BBC said to have spoken with three unspecified members of the British government who have shared this media-worthy information.
It suggested that in the event of a unification poll due to a hard Brexit that Nationalists in Northern Ireland would likely win over Unionists. Theresa May is also said to have shared these forecasted outcomes in the event of a hard Brexit.
As outlined in the Good Friday Agreement, a border poll can be carried out in the event where Nationalists are likely to outweigh Unionists. This is further supported by the fact that 56% of those who voted in Northern Ireland during the 2016 Brexit referendum, voted to stay.
While there is a general consensus that a hard border would negatively impact both Unionists and Nationalists, an unidentified Cabinet Minister from the UK has admitted a border poll is a “realistic possibility” when speaking with the BBC.
Cultural and social forecasters suggest that it is only a matter of time until Nationalists outweigh Unionists by a landslide (far more than the last figure of 56% “stay” count). The threat of a hard border, however, continues to loom.
The three British government ministers agreed, “A no-deal Brexit is the way that’s most likely to lead to a border poll and to people questioning the benefits of being in the United Kingdom.”
Regarding the introduction of a hard border, they told the BBC, “If we are party to creating an environment of chaos, disruption, and uncertainty – that could move the dial.”
The threat is still in the distance, but the near distance at that, “The dial hasn’t been moved – the dial could be moved in those circumstances.”
A spokesperson for the UK government on behalf of Theresa May, who is locked in pursuit to find an agreed-upon Brexit deal responded, “There has been no change in position… It remains the Secretary of State’s view that a majority of the people of Northern Ireland continue to support Northern Ireland’s place in our precious union.”
The spokesperson went on to quash any current threat of a poll stating, “the circumstances requiring a border poll – as set out in the 1998 Agreement – are not satisfied.”
The British government have until 29 March 2019 to agree upon and finalise a Brexit agreement, otherwise, they will have no choice but to choose to hard Brexit.