“the EU needs to prepare for a United Ireland”
Taoiseach Enda Kenny July 2016, Niall O’Connor the political [editor for the Irish Independent]
Reporting from the McGill Summer School in July 2016
As a result of this statement by the Taoiseach it is also clear that Ireland needs to prepare for a United Ireland. The Joint Committee of the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement in its work programme approved by Dáil Eireann appointed Senator Mark Daly as rapporteur to compile a report on the effect of Brexit on Ireland, what Ireland should seek to have in the final agreement between the EU and the UK, particularly in the event of the people of Northern Ireland voting for a United Ireland and what Ireland needs to do in order to peacefully achieve its constitutional obligation, as described by Attorney General Brady (2002-07), of a united Ireland, as outlined in Article 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution.
The report for the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement has 7 sections;
Section 1: Brexit and its Impact on Ireland
Section 2: Precedent of German Unification for Ireland
Section 3: Economic Modelling of Unification
Section 4: Brexit and the Future of Ireland; Uniting Ireland & its People in Peace & Prosperity
Section 5: The Good Friday Agreement
Section 6: Referendum as Provided for in the Good Friday Agreement
Section 7: Constitutional & Legal Changes Before & After a Referendum
All the recommendations for each of the 7 sections are at the end of this executive summary, as are all the 7 summaries for each section with the recommendations that relate to them. The report to the Joint Committee also serves as a reference document and includes copies of Acts and Agreements relating to Ireland and Britain from the Act of Union to the Good Friday Agreement. High Court Justice Richard Humphreys book ‘Countdown to Unity’ is quoted from extensively in Senators Daly’s Report. Justice Humphrey’s publication lays out the road map to the peaceful unity of Ireland and its people. It outlines the various options for the future of this island, the opportunities and the obstacles that are ahead to achieve the aim of a peaceful united Ireland which was approved by 94% of the people in a referendum.
Other than the New Ireland Forum of 1984, 33 years ago the Library and Research Service of Leinster House were unable to find any report by any previous Government,Department or Oireachtas Committee on how the state would achieve its core belief of a united Ireland. An objective supported by 79%* of people in an opinion poll.
Professor emeritus of Humboldt University in Berlin, Christain Tomuschat’s submission to the report outlines the precedent in German unification for Northern Ireland’s automatic inclusion in the EU without the need for an application or accession process in the event of a vote for reunification.
White House, National Security Council, Senior Policy advisor on counter terrorism in President Obamas administration, Michael R. Ortiz has also written a paper for Senator Daly’s report on the issue of the threat of future paramilitary violence attempting to subvert a referendum and reunification as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement. Michael Ortiz was the first U.S. diplomat focused on countering violent extremism and was appointed by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Congressman Brendan Boyle a member of the US House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee has submitted a specially commissioned research paper from the United States Congressional Research Office which is included in the report. This analyses the true nature of the income and expenditure of Northern Ireland. The report by Dr. Kurt Hubner of the University of British Columbia shows a reunification scenario with a boost of 36.5billion euro over 8 years to an all island economy. The report for the Joint Committee also includes elements of the UK House of Lords report on Brexit; UKIrish Relations with a particular focus on the common travel area, including proposals to ensure the continued free movement of people across the border with the North.
The economic challenges of Brexit and unification are outlined in various reports including some from the House of the Oireachtas Library and Research Service, a key one of these is the analysis of the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures health, education, and income. The UN report ranks Ireland as 6th in the world alongside Germany, Canada and the United States. In Northern Ireland’s case the analysis places it 44th in the world alongside the likes of Hungry and Montenegro. As a result of Brexit, Northern Ireland is likely to drop below 50th joining the likes of Kazakhstan and Belarus.
The report includes submissions by various politicians, academics and experts from Ireland, England, Germany and the United States who have given generously of their time and their experience to assist Senator Daly in compiling this report, the first by any committee of the Irish parliament on how to achieve a United Ireland.
To conclude we include an extract from ‘Irish Man of the 20th Century’ T K Whittaker ‘Note on North-South Border Policy’ written on the 11TH of November 1968 the eve of ‘The Troubles’. In it he foresaw the Good Friday Agreement and the long term nature of achieving a United Ireland, that it required the best of ourselves and a collective understanding
‘We were, therefore, left with only one choice, a policy of seeking unity in Ireland between Irishmen. Of its nature this is a long-term policy, requiring patience, understanding and forbearance and resolute resistance to emotionalism and opportunism. It is not the less patriotic for that’