A decision on a border poll seems remote today, even if weekend polls found that more than half of those living in the North want a referendum within five years. Nevertheless, there is a gathering momentum — or a gathering storm, if you prefer. Recent comments from former British chancellor George Osborne that the North is “heading for the exit door” seem significant, especially if he was encouraged to offer that observation.
Mr Osborne said the North was “slowly becoming part of a united Ireland” and most people in England “will not care”.
Showing a level of perception some of his successors may, or at least should, envy, he wrote: “By unleashing English nationalism, Brexit has made the future of the UK the central political issue of the coming decade. NI is, for all economic intents and purposes, now slowly becoming part of a united Ireland. Its prosperity now depends on its relationship with Dublin (and Brussels), not London. The politics will follow.”