Brexit: what comes next for Northern Ireland?

Since Boris Johnson took over as prime minister opposition to his hard Brexit course has been growing in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Northern Irish Catholic nationalist party Sinn Féin has even brought up the possibility of reuniting Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland so that the former can remain in the EU. Irish commentators already envisage the emergence of a new state.

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Irish Independent (IE) /

Celtonia here we come

If Northern Ireland and Scotland leave the UK after Brexit it could be the birth of a new Celtic union, The Irish Independent explains:

“This would be gradual, at first probably limited to cultural co-operation. However, if it moved towards a political union, Northern Ireland could have the economic support of Scotland, Ireland, and the EU. The Isle of Man, a crown dependency deprived the right to vote in the 2016 EU referendum, could also be invited to join such a confederation of Celtic states, which I shall call Celtonia. … Its combined territorial area, land and seas, would make it one of the largest states in the EU.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

English wouldn't mourn Northern Ireland

A majority of the English would be willing to let Northern Ireland and Scotland go for the sake of Brexit, The Irish Times believes:

“What we may be about to experience is not so much Northern Ireland leaving the UK as Northern Ireland (and Scotland) being abandoned by England. The grand narrative of Irish nationalism has always been that perfidious Albion was desperate to hold on to the great prize of the Six Counties and had to be forced or cajoled into giving it up. This was never true but it is now starkly and demonstrably false. Every single survey of both Leave voters and Tory party members over the last three years has shown that they are not unionists. They want Brexit, and if the price of Brexit is the end of the union, so be it.”