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Everything points to a Scottish ‘date with fate’ which will have major impact here

John Downing


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SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon with her predecessor and current Alba party leader Alex Salmond. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon with her predecessor and current Alba party leader Alex Salmond. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Nichola Sturgeon

Nichola Sturgeon

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SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon with her predecessor and current Alba party leader Alex Salmond. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

In some 40 years of paying the rent by my scribbles, writing about a united Ireland was what I’ve often called “an Easter story”. It was more usually something which theoretically examined aspirational nationalist claims about things which were, at kindest estimate, a matter for the distant future, or more harshly treated as plain fantasy.

Let’s resist the temptation to go all WB Yeats with declamations of “change, all change”.  But let’s acknowledge that there are now huge shifts in long-standing relationships in these islands of Britain and Ireland which mean debate about the future of partition in Ireland is not to be lightly dismissed.


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