What Does the Good Friday Agreement Say about a Border Poll
The 1998 Act and the agreement will take the form of a simple majority vote in a poll in Northern Ireland and without a minimum turnout threshold: 50% + 1 is enough. Much less than you think. The only place he alludes to infrastructure at the border is in the security section. A border vote is not inevitable, even though Brexit has integrated it into the national debate in Ireland. In fact, the provos` goals were not immediate self-defense. According to their teachings, Catholics suffering from police persecution or unequal treatment were superficial problems: peace, justice and the well-being of the people were inaccessible as long as Ireland remained divided. Thus, the operations of the Provos were aimed at driving «British imperialism» from the island. One of the first leaders, John Stephenson (later called Seán Mac Stíofáin), born in London, wrote in his memoirs: «We believe that Ireland can only achieve its total freedom by force of arms.» As in any war, there would be losses on both sides justified by the cause; What the Provos have done is exploit the anger of the masses for their own program of national unity. The Protestants would accept or leave a united Ireland. It is a common misconception that the Foreign Secretary can only call a border vote if he sees a majority for a united Ireland, but the provision does not state that this is the only circumstance in which a vote can be called.
A recent opinion poll conducted by BBC Northern Ireland`s Spotlight programme shows that 43% in Northern Ireland support a united Ireland, in Ireland 51% in favour. It could be argued that a hard border would make it difficult to exploit this part of the agreement. Some things are clear. There must be a poll if the Foreign Secretary believes that it is likely that a majority would vote for a united Ireland. In principle, it could be legally obliged to do so. But there are no guidelines on how to form a judgment The Irish government has also taken the position that the time has not come for a vote at the border. In February 2019, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar suggested that a poll at this stage «only serves to sow division.» UCL says the UK government could use six sources of evidence before exercising its discretionary powers: election results, opinion polls, qualitative research, vote in Stormont, seats won in elections and demographic data. The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union has increased the perceived likelihood of a united Ireland to avoid the demand for a possible hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  She noted that people living in this region see what is happening at the border as «pioneers of the quality of peace.» Kennedy and Waller agree that Irish unity is only a matter of time, but the momentum in its favor has little to do with the IRA and its «armed struggle.» The 2021 census found that, for the first time, Catholics in Northern Ireland outperform Protestants, and UK authorities could be required to require a vote at the border for the foreseeable future. Signs of change are already in the air, including the fact that Northern Ireland now exists in an effective customs union with the South. In the nineteenth century, a customs union in Germany preceded German unity. In a TD survey conducted by TheJournal.ie in favour of a border vote and a united Ireland in December 2016, only TDs from the Anti-Austerity Alliance (now Solidarity) said they were currently against a united Ireland.  However, the NIO does not provide any information on this information. It is not clear what exactly would meet this requirement. Constitutional Unity suggests that a consistent majority in opinion polls, a Catholic majority in a census, a nationalist majority in the Northern Ireland Assembly or a vote with a majority in the Assembly could be seen as evidence of majority support for a united Ireland. However, the Secretary of State must ultimately decide whether the condition is met. Waller explains why the labour movement is forgotten together: a fear that extends from management to grassroots. Psychologists speak of a «higher level of perceived cultural threat» among Protestants.
Their communities, Waller writes, have a «collective and self-protective zero-sum response to changes in today`s Northern Ireland that have challenged the dominant status they enjoyed in the past.» Fear is particularly strong among workers, who once enjoyed the rare certainty that, no matter how serious their own position, it was better than that of Catholics. Waller notes that immigrants feel more comfortable in Catholic communities in Northern Ireland than in Protestant communities; According to police, «most of the major racial incidents we have seen have generally occurred in loyalist areas.» Fears mingle, in more open statements, with feelings of guilt. .