Northern Ireland

Irish Brexit report sets out united Ireland proposal

Dail Image copyright oireachtas
Image caption The report is the first by an Irish government committee on how to achieve the peaceful unity of Ireland, said Senator Mark Daly

An Irish parliamentary committee tasked with looking at the impact of Brexit on Ireland has set out a proposal to find a way towards peaceful re-unification.

The committee published its report on Wednesday.

The report outlines 17 recommendations on what the Republic of Ireland should seek to have in the final agreement between the EU and the UK.

Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly, who compiled the report, said that unity could only come through active consent.

"This is the first report by a committee of the Dail or the Senate on how to achieve the peaceful unity of Ireland," he said.

"Last year our former taoiseach Enda Kenny said the EU needs to prepare for a united Ireland.

"And it's clear from the 17 recommendations by the committee that a lot of work needs to be done in advance of a referendum."'

'Referendum will happen'

He added: "From talking to people in both communities in the north it is clear that everybody believes that at some stage there will be a referendum.

"But we must learn the lesson from Brexit and the lesson from Brexit is that you don't have a referendum and then tell people what the future will look like, what you do is you lay out the future in great detail, you talk about the issues of great concern to all communities.

The report - entitled Brexit and the Future of Ireland: Uniting Ireland and its People in Peace and Prosperity - was ratified by the all-party committee on 13 July.

It outlines in detail the options for the island of Ireland in the wake of Brexit.

It recommends the need for special status for Northern Ireland, the need to protect structural funds and that there should be no new passport controls.

In September 2016, BBC Northern Ireland commissioned an opinion poll in the wake of the Brexit referendum.

This suggested that 63% of people in Northern Ireland supported staying in the UK, whilst only 22% said they would vote to join a united Ireland.

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