Disunited Kingdom

Fintan O’Toole Mary Lou McDonald Neal Ascherson Anthony Barnett

Lecture Hall

May 12th, 2017, 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm


The bonds between the nations of the UK were greatly weakened by the referendum. Will Ireland unify? Can the Scots go it alone?

The referendum caused unprecedented tensions between the different nations of the United Kingdom. While Wales voted with England to leave the EU, Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain (by 55.8% and 62% respectively). The Scottish parliament has voted for a second Independence referendum, and there is now serious talk of a united Ireland. Both seem some way off, but what is certain is that the bonds that held the United Kingdom together look more fragile than at any time in the last hundred years. This situation calls for a new settlement between the peoples of the UK. But will the Westminster government have the energy and imagination for that, or will the countries drift apart with increasing rancour?

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