'Ireland should be able to reunite' if Brexit affects Good Friday Agreement, caller insists

8 September 2020, 13:40 | Updated: 8 September 2020, 14:36

By Seán Hickey

This caller believes that Northern Ireland will reunify with Ireland in the aftermath of Brexit and told Maajid Nawaz how he thinks it will happen.

A top Whitehall official resigned amid rumours that the Prime Minister plans to alter commitments to the Good Friday Agreement in Brexit talks.

In the wake of this news, Maajid Nawaz took calls on Northern Ireland and the possible reunification with the Republic of Ireland as a result of Brexit.

This caller Michael addressed the topic by debunking the issue of cost in reunification: "That issue is raised quite often usually by people I think would rather not see Irish reunification.

"If we were talking about France having control of six South-Eastern English counties...I don't think anybody would be talking about cost in terms of recovering sovereignty."

Michael branded the issue of cost a "rather spurious argument."

"Every age-old country like Ireland should be able to reunite, if its people so wish it, without cost coming up all the time."

The prospect of Irish unification has been widely debated during Brexit negotiations
The prospect of Irish unification has been widely debated during Brexit negotiations. Picture: PA

Maajid quizzed the caller further about how the question would even come about and he explained, "It will require a referendum on both sides of the Irish border, and it would require a majority on both sides of the border."

Michael argued that it is not a question of cost, rather "it's about how you accommodate other people's identities," although he didn't believe that would be an issue either.

"I lived in Britain for ten years and I was as Irish the day I left it as the day I arrived," he noted.

Maajid understood Michael's point, but asked if the Irish people honestly would want to "try to absorb...the cost of reunification." Michael argued that taking in the roughly 1.8 million people of Northern Ireland into a united Irish state would be "a considerable addition to the Irish exchequer anyway."

"It's not as if we would be bringing in a population of spongers who are contributing nothing."