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Across the Irish sea

Everything is changing with Ireland's nearest neighbour!

In 2016, the United Kingdom held a vote on whether they should completely leave the European Union. Against all the opinion polls, the UK voted to leave by a margin of 51.9% versus 48.1% to remain in the EU.

Not exactly a landslide margin, but a margin nonetheless.

The finer details of leaving has proved a hard nut to crack for those wishing to leave, more commonly known as the Brexiteers.

We can see here major weaknesses in the political system in the UK. If we compare the UK to the United States, we see that USA has built in numerous protections for the smalller States, so they don't get overwhelmed by the larger ones.

In the United Kingdom - which used to include of course all of Ireland until the revolutions and wars that started with 1916 - we have in fact four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Ulster (excluding of course County Donegal which is part of Southern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland).

Remember the key benefit of the UK and the Republic of Ireland is that there is virtually zero border customs checks between Northern and Southern Ireland. So in the UK's Brexit vote, we Scotland and Ulster voting to remain in the EU, but England and Wales voting to leave.

Alas we have no protections for the countries that make up the UK as they do in the USA - so Scotland and Ulster just have to lump it.

Isn't that unbelievable? English nationalism has just steamrolled over the other countries in the UK.

Needless to say, the Scots are not at all happy. They held a referendum in 2014 on whether they should break away from the UK. Coming in to the close of the campaign, it looked like independence was going to do it. Cue an almighty panic attack in London and the full publicity machine kicked into gear. Scotland voted to stay in the UK by a margin 55.3% to 44.7% - again close enough.

So what happens if Scots now switch and vote to leave the UK?

Where does that leave Northern Ireland?

It's just pushing a United Ireland closer as a logical result of the breakdown of the United Kingdom.

The dream is alive and well, so we'd ask all members of the Irish family to keep an eye on the news at this time.

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